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May 2017 Archives

Study finds restraints important in preventing child fatalities

In a study that examined children's deaths in motor vehicle accidents from 2010 to 2014 by state, Pennsylvania had one of the lowest percentages. The study looked at fatalities among children under the age of 15. It found that more than 60 percent of these fatal crashes happened on rural roads and that in 20 percent of the deaths, children were not restrained or were restrained improperly. In 13 percent, children were in the front seat when they should not have been.

Medical AI and responsibility for misdiagnoses

The field of artificial intelligence has made impressive strides in the medical field, especially as a diagnostic aid. The advancing technology, however, creates difficult legal questions about liability if the machine makes a mistake. Currently, a Pennsylvania physician who harms a patient because of a misdiagnosis would potentially be liable for damages. In the future, blaming a machine for a medical mistake would introduce the problem of assigning liability.

How telemedicine can help patients

Pennsylvania residents usually believe that their doctors are most often correct. However, getting a second opinion during a virtual meeting with a physician may reduce the odds of a misdiagnosis. Using the internet to meet with a doctor or specialist may be ideal because a patient doesn't have to travel. Instead, the meeting can be held securely and privately in a patient's home.

Facts relating to motorcycle accidents

In 2015, there were nearly 90,000 reported motorcycle-related injuries, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Because motorcyclists are almost 30 times more likely to die in a collision per mile traveled and about five times more likely to suffer an injury, motorcycle riding can be risky for Pennsylvania residents.

Preventing melanoma

According to the American Cancer Society, melanoma is responsible for just about 1 percent of skin cancer cases, but it accounts for a substantial number of skin cancer fatalities. May is Melanoma Awareness Month, and Pennsylvania residents have the opportunity to learn more about the risks associated with sun exposure and sunburns.

Employers liable for murder

Pennsylvania residents may be interested in a case involving Home Depot and one of its employees. On April 26, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit denied Home Depot's request to reconsider its decision. This opens the company up to wrongful death lawsuit by the surviving family of one of its former employees. It also sets an important precedent regarding how companies may be held liable for the negligent or reckless acts of their employees.

Federally-funded medical facilities and malpractice lawsuits

In many cases, the federal government is protected from lawsuits. However, there is an exception. The Federal Tort Claims Act allows people to sue the federal government in the case of medical malpractice although punitive damages will not be awarded. At one federally-funded health clinic, a child suffered severe permanent brain damage after a mid-forceps delivery. A judge in Pennsylvania ordered the federal government to pay $41.6 million in the case.