Kentucky Injury Lawyers

Ask a Personal Injury Attorney: Aren’t Lawyers Expensive?

Published on Jul 19, 2016 at 3:35 pm in Uncategorized.

Hiring an attorney can be a daunting task. How do you choose one? How do you know what type of lawyer to hire? What’s it like to work with an attorney and how do you know what’s expected of you? These are all questions you’re likely to have while browsing the website of an attorney, but don’t worry—we’re here to help.

Every firm’s site is filled with the same, boastful claims and pages and pages of legal speak that aren’t immediately useful. What’s useful? Answers. Real answers. Every two weeks roughly, we’ll be posting a common question a client new to the legal world might have, and we’ll provide real, honest answers to that question.  

Attorney General Candidate Andy Beshear Releases Plan to Protect Kentucky Seniors

Published on Sep 14, 2015 at 12:06 am in Uncategorized.

The attorneys and staff at Thomas Law Offices spend a great deal of time working to protect Kentucky seniors who have suffered personal injuries as the result of nursing home fraud, neglect and abuse.  Which is why I applaud Attorney General Candidate Andy Beshear for recently publishing his six point plan to realign the priorities of the office of the Attorney General to make this worthy goal an even greater priority.  The Office of the Attorney General under the leadership of Attorney General Conway has done a great job of protecting seniors for the last eight years.  A Beshear administration will go even further by forming an office dedicated to seniors.  He would open an new office of investigators with a specific focus on senior related fraud and abuse, open a senior protection hotline and work  to coordinate non-profits with the same mission.

Read more about Beshear’s plan here:  http://www.andybeshear.com/my-plan/protecting-kentucky-seniors

For more information on what Attorney General Conway and his team already do to protect seniors visit: http://ag.ky.gov/Pages/protectingseniors.aspx

 

Benicar

Published on Apr 28, 2015 at 10:44 pm in Uncategorized.

In July 2013, the Food and Drug Administration issued a drug safety alert for Benicar(olmesartan medoxomil), the medicine developed to help with high blood pressure and reduce the risk of serious medical problems. The alert came as a result of findings by the Mayo Clinic that Benicar and similar drugs like HCT, Azor, and Tribenzor were found to cause severe problems like sprue-like eneropathy and villous atrophy.

Symptoms of enteropathy severe, chronic diarrhea with substantial weight loss whereas villous atrophy damages the ability of the intestines to absorb nutrients. The enteropathy in particular may not develop for months or years after taking these drugs. In the study done by the Mayo Clinic involving 22 patients, 14 of them had to be hospitalized for these symptoms. One of the patients even lost 125 pounds.

The FDA ordered these new side effects be added to drug labels but the product had been on the market for a long period of time by then. “The FDA’s evaluation found clear evidence of an association between olmesartan and sprue-like enteropathy. If patients taking olmesartan develop these symptoms and no other cause is found, the drug should be discontinued and therapy with another antihypersensitive started,” the agency stated. The FDA considered these side effects life threatening in its report.

What Did Levaquin Makers Know and When Did They Know It?

Published on Mar 18, 2015 at 1:04 pm in Uncategorized.

Under pressure from advocacy groups, the US Food and Drug Administration has issued an increasingly serious set of warnings about the side effects of the powerful class of antibiotics known as flouroquinolones. Three of the most popular name brands are Levaquin, made by Johnson & Johnson, and Avelox and Cipro, which are both made by Bayer.

A lawsuit recently filed in California federal court against Johnson & Johnson spells out the timeline of various studies raising concerns about this drug, going back to 1992. The lawsuit was filed by a woman who took Levaquin, and developed nerve damage from a condition known as peripheral neuropathy.

The claim notes that in 1992, European scientists wrote to the prestigious British medical journal The Lancet with concerns about a patient who took flouroquinolones (also called “quinolones”) and then developed peripheral neuropathy.

Then in 1996, a review of 37 different reports of nerve damage from quinolones was published.

A U.S. study published in 2001 studied adverse events reported after use of these drugs. Forty-five patients reported long-term nerve damage – most reported cases were serious and lasted longer than one year. That study recommended further investigation into the risk of nerve damage and concluded that if the risk is confirmed, “physicians need to be informed and warnings must be considered for these drugs’ product information.”

In 2003, the FDA reviewed its own adverse events reports from Levaquin and other quinolones and found many cases of peripheral neuropathy.

Later, in 2004 that an amended Levaquin label was approved by the FDA, which stated the risk of nerve damage was rare. The label also suggested that if symptoms occurred, discontinuing use of the drug could “prevent the development of an irreversible condition.”

It wasn’t until August 2013, after pressure from victims and advocates, that the FDA finally agreed that the Levaquin and other quinolone warning labels was not correct. The FDA required manufacturers to remove a statement that nerve damage was “rare” and to add a warning that the onset of nerve damage can be rapid and the condition may be permanent.

In January of 2014, another paper highlighted the fact that there is evidence dating back to 2005 that the use of quinolones can lead to long-term, serious nerve damage.

Most experts acknowledge that in certain serious cases, quinolones are needed and may outweigh the risks, but they are a powerful drug that should be reserved only for cases where other, less powerful drugs aren’t effective. In the California lawsuit, the plaintiff has shown that other drugs, with less serious side effects were available and would have been appropriate to treat her condition. Had the makers properly warned doctors and patients about the risks, the plaintiff likely would have been prescribed a different drug.

Kentucky’s High Rate of Nursing Home Fines & Penalties

Published on Mar 18, 2015 at 12:50 pm in Uncategorized.

Of the 20 nursing homes in the country with the most government fines, five of them are in Kentucky. Kentucky also has three nursing homes listed among the top 20 in the nation that were cited for the most serious deficiencies.

The list is compiled by ProPublica, which is an independent, non-profit newsroom that produces investigative journalism. The data is drawn from government databases, and includes deficiencies cited by regulators and the penalties imposed over the past three years.

Nursing Homes with the Most Fines

The Kentucky nursing homes found to have received the most fines over the past three years are:

  • #5 – Somerwoods Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Somerset, KY: $564,000
  • #7 – Princeton Health & Rehab Center, Inc. in Princeton, KY: $560,000
  • #9 – Brownsboro Hills Health Care and Rehabilitation in Louisville, KY: $541,000
  • #13 – Tradewater Pointe, in Dawson Springs, KY: $484,000
  • #18 – NHC Healthcare, in Glasgow, KY: $436,000

The two homes nationwide with the most fines overall were Bradley Health Care & Rehab, in Cleveland, Tennessee, with $693,000 in fines, and the Siler City Center, in Siler City, North Carolina, with a total of $680,000 in fines.

Nursing Homes with the Most Serious Deficiencies

The Kentucky nursing homes among the worst in the country for most serious deficiencies over the last three years are:

  • #10 – Fountain Circle Care & Rehabilitation Center, Winchester, KY: 14 serious deficiencies
  • #11 – Signature Healthcare of Pikeville, Pikeville, KY: 13 serious deficiencies
  • #15 – Hearthstone Place, Elkton, KY: 13 serious deficiencies

The worst levels of deficiencies in the U.S. were found at Graceland Nursing Center in Memphis, Tennessee, which had 28 serious deficiencies, the Care Inn of Abilene, Texas, which had 23, and the Courtyards at Fort Worth, Texas, which had 21.

An example of the types of problems leading to such serious levels of citations can be seen at the Princeton Health & Rehab Center. Many of its violations were found in 2012. In one case that lead to a resident’s death, records show that a nurse gave the resident pain medication at 2:00 a.m. Then two hours later at 4:00 a.m., staff helped the resident sit up at the side of the bed, and left the resident sitting alone in the room. The resident fell off the bed, suffered a head injury, and later died from internal bleeding.

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