content top

New York State Working to Give Prisoners a Chance at Clemency

According to the Huffington PostNew York Governor Andrew Cuomo has revealed a plan to help inmates struggling with monetary difficulties. It can be challenging for inmates to find the funds to fight against court rulings. Many individuals who want to take their cases to a higher court or make a plea for a pardon are kept from pursuing their best interest due to financial constraints. New York aims to make it easier for convicted individuals to obtain the legal resources they need to petition the Governor for a pardon, the eradication of someone’s criminal record, or clemency, which often involves commuting an individual’s prison time. When an individual’s sentence is commuted, their time in prison is cut short. However, commuting does not entail erasing someone’s criminal record. A pardon retroactively absolves you of crime, but when someone’s sentence is commuted, it does not necessarily relieve them of criminal guilt.

Individuals seeking a pardon or a sentence commutation from the Governor frequently have difficulty funding their legal plea. That’s why Governor Cuomo joined together with legal organizations such as The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Foundation for Criminal Justice, and Families Against Mandatory Minimums. Together, the Governor and these groups are looking to make legal resources much more readily available for those that require assistance. His partnership is based upon a federal effort that encouraged legal groups to train criminal defense attorneys to identify potential clemency petitioners and assist them in applying. This partnership furthers goals set for New York by Governor Cuomo two years ago.

Governor Cuomo has made an efficient, just legal system a key part of his political platform. Starting in 2015, the Governor backed efforts to increase free or “pro bono” legal representation for inmates looking to petition for clemency. Since its inception, this initiative has found over 1,700 individuals to assist. His program encourages private lawyers to give their services to individuals who wanted to build a case for a pardon or for commuting their sentence. He himself has used his office to grant various forms of clemency to convicted individuals, pardoning 114 people and reducing the sentences of 10 others.

This new partnership, along with the continuation of Governor Cuomo’s program, will doubtlessly help many individuals access the resources they require. It’s unfair that so many are kept from using the law to its fullest extent due to financial restraints. Many individuals and organizations in New York agree that convicted and accused individuals should be able to obtain legal representation when they need it most. John S. Wallenstein, the president of the New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, says, “This partnership is a welcome expansion to the existing project, as it will bring more lawyers together with applicants who lack the resources to pay for representation.” He goes on to express, “With more training, mentoring, and electronic access to client materials, this partnership will help our members better represent reformed and rehabilitated applicants in the State’s process, and assist them in their efforts to apply for clemency.”

 

 

Read More

Wrong Diagnosis as a Medical Malpractice Case

There is a reason why medical professionals need licenses. Health is a serious industry, and you really need to show how competent you are, to qualify to the caring of the medical condition of a patient. But sometimes, even the most competent and licensed medical professional become negligent, resulting into the harm of the patient instead of the cure. This is called medical malpractice.

According to the website of Russo, Russo & Slania P.C., those who have experienced medical malpractice may have legal options, such as trying to hold the negligent medical professional accountable for the physical harm, emotional trauma, and financial strain they have sustained.

There are various kinds of medical malpractice, such as the lack of informed consent, medication error, surgery error, and even wrongful death. But there is one that is not as talked about as the others – wrong diagnosis.

A wrong diagnosis happens when a medical professional’s negligence has resulted into a mistake in the diagnosis process. However, take note that negligence is the most important part here. As said earlier, health is a serious industry. It is extremely complicated that a wrong diagnosis is truly possible even if the medical professional has done everything competently. If the medical professional has been negligent, or incompetent in a way that a reasonable medical professional should not have been, he may be held liable for medical malpractice.

There are generally four kinds of misdiagnosis:

·       A healthy person diagnosed as ill

·       An ill person diagnosed as healthy

·       An ill person diagnosed with a wrong medical condition

·       An ill person diagnosed with a wrong subtype of a medical condition

Each kind has its own threats to health. For example, a healthy person diagnosed as ill may undergo undeserved treatment, an ill person diagnosed as healthy may not receive the treatment he deserves, and an ill person diagnosed with a wrong medical condition or with the wrong subtype of a medical condition can undergo an ineffective treatment method.

These errors can lead to new complications or the worsening of existing ones, not to mention the financial troubles that may arise, just because a medical professional has been negligent.

Read More

Four Elements Required in a Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

A personal injury lawyer states that when you are ill or injured, you should be able to trust that the medical professionals caring for you will work to improve your health. Unfortunately, these professionals sometimes make negligent mistakes, which can have negative consequences. Doctors that do not hold to the high standards of medical care can worsen conditions and cause lasting damage to a patient.

Medical professionals, from doctors and surgeons to nurses and pharmaceutical technicians, as explained by the law firm Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, carry a tremendous level of responsibility for the health and safety of their patients. As a result, individuals and organizations in this field are held to a remarkably high professional standard in order to protect patient well-being. Medical malpractice laws therefore play an important role in helping to hold doctors and other medical practitioners accountable for the consequences of unprofessional or dangerous behavior.

Medical malpractice can have devastating consequences for victims, ranging from serious injuries to wrongful death, and pursuing a medical malpractice claim may be essential to helping victims receive justice in the wake of a medical mistake.

Medical malpractice can occur in a variety of ways. Grievous mistakes such as being prescribed the wrong medication or receiving treatment that was meant for another patient occur with surprising frequency. Other examples of medical malpractice that are committed with greater frequency than others include:

  • Improper or delayed treatment
  • Emergency room errors
  • Hospital negligence
  • Wrongful death
  • Wrong diagnosis
  • Lack of informed consent
  • Surgical errors
  • Pharmaceutical errors

The US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health defines medical malpractice as any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient. Medical malpractice is a specific subset of tort law that deals with professional negligence.

A medical malpractice lawsuit in the U.S., besides needing to be filed in timely manner, that is within the “statute of limitation” period, requires four legal elements:

  1. the existence of a legal duty on the part of the doctor to provide care or treatment to the patient;
  2. A breach of this duty by a failure of the treating doctor to adhere to the standards of the profession;
  3. A causal relationship between such breach of duty and injury to the patient; and,
  4. The existence of damages that flow from the injury such that the legal system can provide redress.
Read More

The Open Carry Law

Though open carrying of firearms in public is not restricted by the Federal law, there are specific rules when this is done on properties owned or operated by the federal government.

There are only five states where the open carrying of handguns in public places is prohibited. These are California, Florida, Illinois New York, and South Carolina; this is to prevent gun violence.

The past years, gun-toting individuals openly carrying firearms in public places, such as political rallies, public parks, restaurants and coffee shops have become a common sight in many U.S. states. Many of those who openly carry firearms, who argue that they are only “exercising their rights,” identify themselves as part of the growing “open carry movement.”

The open carrying of firearms, however, does not only intimidate the public, but also makes very likely accidental or intentional use which can result to injury or death.

Besides using the argument of “exercising their rights,” many say that open carrying is needed for self-defense. No research, however, supports this argument. On the contrary, even if used in self-defense, having a gun does not reduce a person’s chance of getting injured during a crime, but it increases the possibility of him/her injuring an innocent bystander.

One study even suggests that carrying a firearm may actually increase a person’s risk of firearm injury. Thus, instead of improving safety, open carrying unnecessarily increases the possibility of everyday interpersonal conflicts turning into deadly shootouts. This is because anyone will have ready access to firearms. Open carry laws also correlate with higher rates of suicide. States with open carry laws, in fact, have 36% more suicides and 71% more firearm suicides per capita. Additionally, when stopping an individual who is openly carrying a firearm in these states, law enforcement officers may be prohibited from demanding identification.

In the state of Texas, particularly, the Law Offices of Mark T. Lassiter says, “As of January 1, 2016, licensed gun owners in the state of Texas may openly carry a handgun in public and in many Texas open carry gun laws private settings. This open carry laws stipulates that handguns must be carried in a belt or shoulder holster at all times, unless there is a legally justifiable reason to use the weapon. The moment you remove your firearm from your holster you should expect to be under police scrutiny. In the event that you are charged with a gun-related criminal offense like aggravated assault with a deadly weapon or deadly conduct, you need to reach out to an attorney immediately. Even if you believe that you have not broken the law, it will be in your best interest to work with a lawyer throughout the coming legal process.”

Read More

Morcellator Lawsuits Still being Filed Against Johnson & Johnson

Morcellator Lawsuits Still being Filed Against Johnson & Johnson

On April 30, 2014, Ethicon, the unit of Johnson & Johnson that is responsible for the manufacture, sale and promotion of power morcellators, ceased distribution and sales of said devices, and ordered their withdrawal from the market.

Ethicon’s move came barely three weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert on April 17, 2014, which advised doctors and hospitals against the continuous use of power morcellators in laparoscopic surgical procedures, specifically in the removal of uterine fibroids or myomas, through myomectomy, and in the removal of the womb or uterus, through hysterectomy.

FDA’s decision is based on medical reports regarding the possible spread of unsuspected cancer tissues, called uterine sarcomas, during morcellation treatment of women with uterine fibroids. Due to the lack of a device that can accurately detect the presence of uterine sarcomas, risk of spreading it beyond the uterus can happen as uterine fibroids are divided or morcellated into pieces.

Power morcellators are medical devices designed to cut an overgrown uterus or fibroids into pieces that are tiny enough to allow them to be extracted through 0.5-1cm incisions. These devices have been approved by the FDA to be used in laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgeries. Due to the many advantages of power morcellators, including performance of surgeries that require very tiny incisions that healed faster, shorter hospital stay for patients, lesser blood loss, reduced pain and minimal chances of infection or complications, many doctors began using them in the early 1990s to perform laparoscopic surgeries instead of the traditional open surgeries (such as abdominal hysterectomy, which required incisions between five to seven inches long).

Johnson & Johnson introduced three of the best engineered power morcellators in the market in 1998 which, many believe, actually set the standard on the way the device should be designed. These devices included the Gynecare Morcellex, the Morcellex Sigma and the Gynecare X-Tract. Despite the accuracy and efficiency of J&J’s power morcellators, however, the FDA found the risk of cancer a valid reason for doctors and hospitals to cease use of the device.

As mentioned in the website of the law firm Williams Kherkher, up to 50,000 morcellation treatments are performed in the U.S. every year, with most of these for the purpose of removing uterine fibroids. In a number of U.S. states, morcellator lawsuits are on the rise, adding to the growth in the number of women seeking compensation.

Many more patients are expected to come to the open and file civil lawsuits they are legally entitled to pursue. These lawsuits may be their chance of seeking compensation for whatever damages the devices have caused in them.

Read More
content top