pregnant-woman-200x300This week, a father of two filed a lawsuit against the hospital where his wife died shortly after giving birth to their new son. In the lawsuit, the father alleges that after what was supposed to be a joyous occasion, he saw his wife’s catheter turning pink with blood and asked a hospital employee for help. Her response: “Sir, your wife just isn’t a priority right now.” After being allowed to bleed internally for almost 10 hours, the hospital finally took the mother back to surgery, where she died from complications from her cesarean section.

Sadly, this mom is not alone. Tragedies like this are far too common in the United States, which has the highest rate of maternal deaths in the entire developed world. Every year, more than 50,000 women are severely injured during childbirth, and about 700 mothers per year die due to complications from childbirth. Worse, the U.S. is the only country in the developed world that has a rising maternal death rate due to pregnancy-related complications. Even more alarming is the fact that African American, Native American, and Alaskan Native women are about three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues than white women.

The troublingly high rate of mothers dying due to pregnancy complications has led to what some are calling the Maternal Mortality Crisis. The crisis has parents (and soon-to-be parents) across the country asking: why is this happening?

nature-3374583_1920-300x199Not only has President Trump failed to clean up any swamps in Washington or elsewhere, but his new budget—if passed—will ensure that there are toxic swamps all over the country.

Trump’s new budget slashes the EPA’s budget by 26%, at the same time as his toadies at the agency cynically claim that the EPA will focus on its “core mission—providing Americans with clean air, clean water and ensuring chemical safety”. That’s a bald-faced lie. It’s impossible for the EPA to guarantee that with 26% less staff and $2.4 billion less in funding—the cuts proposed by Trump.

The most telling piece of the president’s budget is the cut to the EPA’s Superfund program. Trump’s disdain for people suffering from toxic pollution is evident in his proposed 10% cut of a program that currently has the longest backlog of toxic waste cleanup in 15 years. For lack of enough Superfund money, children are being exposed to the nastiest, most carcinogenic, toxic chemicals in their air and water while waiting for the government to clean up their neighborhoods and towns. If Trump actually cared about people—or clean air and water for that matter– he would beef up this program instead of letting regular folks twist in the wind.

Shawn-3-Copy-300x177Yesterday, lawyers for the plaintiffs in the cases against Sterigenics held a press conference to expose what we have recently learned about the apparent attempts of Sterigenics and its corporate owners to make it more difficult for our clients who prove their cases to receive just compensation.  As we detail in our newest court filing (and as summarized below), in the two years since the federal government in 2016 concluded that ethylene oxide is 30 times more potent of a carcinogen than previously believed, Sterigenics and its owners have taken $1.3 billion in cash out of the company, put it in their own pockets, and replaced it with money borrowed from banks.  The effect of this is to put company cash and other assets out of reach of plaintiffs who prove that Sterigenics caused their cancers.

Rest assured:  we will expose this behavior; get to the bottom of it; and hold Sterigenics accountable in court for anything they have done here that is unlawful.  We will bring this behavior before the Judge and jury, and demand justice—which includes just compensation for our clients who prove their cases.

This past Friday, we filed an amended complaint adding new allegations to our lawsuits. The new allegations are as follows:

car-accident-1538175_1920-1024x683When you’re injured in a car crash, medical treatment can be expensive. One of the leading causes of bankruptcy in the United States is medical debt. You shouldn’t have to worry about struggling to afford the treatment you need. The problem is that between an ambulance, emergency room and other treatment following a crash, your bills can be in the thousands, or tens of thousands, of dollars.

Before we talk about who will pay your bills, however, it’s important to talk about who is not going to pay your bills. Most people assume that the driver who caused the crash is going to pay for their medical bills. They talk with the at-fault driver’s insurance and that insurance company tells them that they will cover the bills, but at the end of the day, this could not be further from the truth. Even if the other driver is clearly at fault, the law does not require him or her to pay your medical bills as they come in. When you win your personal injury case, the other driver will have to pay your damages, including your medical bills, but in the meantime, you need to pay the bills yourself.

There are several ways to make sure that your bills are paid and you are protected when you’re in a car crash. A lawyer can guide you through this process and make sure that you are protected. The three primary ways your medical bills can be paid are through private health insurance, medical payments insurance (also called “MedPay”), or through health care provider liens. Each of these types of payments has advantages or drawbacks.

surgery-1807541_1920-1024x676The stress of a serious injury or illness can be heightened by not knowing which hospital is the best choice for your care. To make that process a little easier for people, the Leapfrog Group–in conjunction withThe Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety–publishes Hospital Safety Grades twice each year for thousands of hospitals across the country. These hospital ratings are the only ones that focus exclusively on patient safety, scoring hospitals on how safe they keep their patients from injuries, infections, accidents, and errors. The Hospital Safety Grades are a valuable tool that you can use to make sure you or a loved one is getting the safest care available when confronted with health issues.

The grades, which are peer-reviewed and published, rely on a panel of safety experts, national performance measures, and surveys to assign a grade to each hospital. The letter grades represent the hospital’s overall performance and ability to keep patients safe from preventable injuries and medical errors. The A, B, C, D, or F grades give consumers a quick way to choose the best hospital for their medical care.

Why is this so important? Because preventable hospital errors are a huge cause of death in the US. Depending on which study you look at, between 160,000 and 400,000 people die each year from preventable hospital mistakes. And patients at D and F hospitals face a 92% greater risk of dying from safety problems than patients at an A-rated hospital. While most hospitals do have a safety grade, they are not required to have one. If a hospital does not have enough safety data to supply Leapfrog with, they will not be given a grade. To find out how your safe your hospital is, see the list below.

winter-sport-1024x683Winter is upon us; bringing with it lots of holiday spirit, warm drinks, and outdoor sports. As fun as skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling may be, these activities can be extremely dangerous for both beginners and those who are more advanced. When people are properly trained and are using safe practices, winter sports injuries are fairly easy to prevent. However, sometimes an accident is caused by another person’s behavior. If you are injured in an accident that is the fault of another skier or snowboarder, you may be able to sue them for negligence or recklessness and recover compensation for your injuries. Our experienced personal injury lawyers can help you through this stressful and often painful time and fight for your rights in the legal system.

During the 2017-2018 winter season in the United States, 14,000 injuries and 37 fatalities occurred in connection with skiing or snowboarding. These accidents can happen in a number of ways, but typically they are caused by skiing too fast in heavily populated areas, not giving another person their right of way, or stalling in areas that are designated trails. The severity of the resulting injuries can range from broken bones to brain injury, and even death.

With snowmobiling, approximately 200 deaths and 14,000 injuries occur each year. Considering that a snowmobile typically weighs around 500 pounds and can travel at a maximum speed of 200 miles per hour; these numbers are not surprising. These accidents usually happen due to intoxication, untrained drivers, poor judgment, exorbitant speed, or vehicle defects. If you are injured in a snowmobiling accident due to someone else’s fault, you may have a personal injury claim. In the saddest scenario, if your loved one is killed in one of these accidents, your family may have a wrongful death claim.

snow-3916172_1920-300x200Winter is a time many people look forward to every year. It can be beautiful outside and cozy inside, with warm nights spent by the fire with good food and better company. However, getting to those warm nights can be a slippery slope. Snow, ice, and sleet can make for a disastrous day when it comes to driving.

Seventy percent of the roads and the population in the United States are in snowy regions and 17% of all crashes occur during winter weather. Research done by AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety shows that almost half a million crashes and 2,000 road deaths are caused every year by poor road conditions or bad weather conditions in the United States. With scary statistics like that, it is important to take as many precautions as possible to keep yourself safe during these bad weather months. So, we’ve compiled a list of do’s and don’ts to help you avoid a serious winter car accident.

Do:

CBS-Hinsdale-storyThe Collins Law Firm has filed a lawsuit on behalf of six former teachers at Hinsdale South High School who have been stricken with cancer. The lawsuit claims that the teachers’ cancer was caused by their exposure to Sterigenics’ ethylene oxide during the time they worked at Hinsdale South. Moreover, attorney Shawn Collins, claims that Sterigenics knew that their emissions could cause health risks to neighbors before they began operating. For coverage of the national news story on CBS, click on the link below:

https://www.cbsnews.com/video/illinois-sterilizing-plant-caused-cancer-lawsuit-claims/

 

 

autobahn-837643_1920-300x194Some of the most deadly and dangerous accidents on the roads are caused by large commercial trucks. A shocking number of people– 4,102 total– died in large truck crashes in 2017. Many of these truck wrecks could have been prevented if drivers, shippers, and operators addressed some of the common causes of truck accidents and worked to fix them. The most common causes of truck crashes include:

Speeding and Driving too Fast for Conditions

Shippers promise fast delivery, often guaranteeing overnight or same-day delivery for packages. And consumers now expect packages to be delivered quickly, which is why Amazon Prime’s two-day delivery guarantee is so popular. With promises of fast delivery come pressure on drivers to drive faster despite road conditions or traffic conditions. This can lead to an increase in accidents.

smog-219x300In the summer of 2008, the Chinese city of Beijing hosted the Olympic Games. The event has frequently been called the most polluted Olympics ever and many remember seeing the images of Beijing skyscrapers barely visible through a thick layer of hazy smog. What many Americans may not know, however, is that the same type of air pollution from Particulate Matter emissions has been linked to the premature deaths of many women and men right here in the United States.

According to a study published this year, more than 30,000 deaths in the United States in a single year may have been caused by exposure to Particulate Matter air pollution. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS Medicine, examined deaths in 2015 to determine how many could be attributed to exposure to Particulate Matter air pollution. Researchers estimated that Particulate Matter pollution was responsible for the deaths of 15,612 women and 14,757 men in 2015 alone. The risk of premature death was greater in areas with lower income and higher poverty rates than in wealthier counties. Communities of color and communities where fewer residents had completed a high school education were also at greater risk.

What is Particulate Matter?

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