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Chicago Wrongful Death Law Blog

Authorities investigate recent nursing home death in Chicago area

Nursing facilities across the country, including those in Illinois, are supposed to be safe places in which residents can have their basic care and medical needs met every day. Unfortunately, neglect and negligence have become more frequent in recent years as larger numbers of people enter facilities.

One apparent case of Chicago nursing home neglect recently came to light when an elderly nursing home resident was found unconscious with a couple of pairs of gloves stuffed in his throat and eyeglasses and a toothbrush lodged his rectum. Several hours later he was pronounced dead in an Indiana hospital

The Chemical Safety Board's role in preventing accidents

Construction and manufacturing worksites in Illinois are usually hazardous work zones. Machinery, ladders and the usage of dangerous materials and tools make these workspaces in big cities like Chicago potential death spots. In order to avert Chicago work-related deaths, the U.S. Chemical Safety Board is responsible for conducting investigations after the industrial chemical accidents that sometimes happen at construction sites. The board has its headquarters in Washington, DC and the U.S. President appoints the board members, who then are confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

The CSB carries out investigations to find the root cause of accidents in industrial zones. A root cause investigation also provides deficiencies in worksite safety systems that may have instigated the accident and identifies any factor that could have averted the accident, such as human errors, failure of equipment or any other hazard. Although the board does not issue a fine, it does make recommendations to agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which do have the power to issue fines for unsafe worksites. The purpose of setting up this board was to prevent industrial chemical accidents.

Making consumer safety a priority

A Chicago resident buying a product in the United States assumes it will be safe to use or consume. Unfortunately, many consumers are injured or made ill when they use dangerous or defective products. Any Chicago products liability attorney would probably say unequivocally that consumer safety should be the most important priority for a product manufacturer. At our law firm we have a history of holding manufacturers responsible for bad products, including dangerous and defective automotive products that have injured unsuspecting residents of Chicago.

A consumer product, whether it is a laptop or makeup, can cause serious injury if it does not function according to design. In a recent incident, Wal-Mart reportedly recalled hundreds of thousands of toasters manufactured by General Electric due to a possible risk of electric shock and fire. This is just one example of how a common product used every day can put a family member at risk for injury. Consumers who use faulty exercise equipment, such as a treadmill or stationary bike, also experience greater risk of injury due to unsafe product manufacturing or design.

Safety education for snowmobiling enthusiasts in Illinois

Illinois gets its fair share of snow every year. Vast stretches of land across the state are covered in snow, which attracts many snowmobile enthusiasts. Sadly, winters in Illinois are often unpredictable and any lapse in safety measures can lead to serious consequences for a person who enjoys a snowmobile ride in the countryside. However, if snowmobiling enthusiasts take some basic precautions, they may be able to avoid the various hazards associated with snowmobiling.

According to existing Illinois law, a person under the age of 10 years is not allowed to operate a snowmobile. Those who are between 10 and 12 years may operate a snowmobile under the direct supervision of an adult. In order to educate people at a young age, Illinois offers the Snowmobile Education Course. After completing the course and taking the course examination, trainees can obtain the State of Illinois Certificate of Competency. The course is important for those aged 12 to 16 years because the certificate entitles them to operate a snowmobile without adult supervision.

Nursing home neglect case filed against Cook County nursing home

A nursing home is supposed to be a safe place for the residents. It is assumed that those residents will get the proper care from the nursing home staff. However, when that is not the case and nursing home neglect causes the elderly loved one to pass away, it can be devastating. In a recent incident, a Chicago family sued a Cook County nursing home for nursing home neglect.

According to a petition filed by the Chicago resident, his 53-year-old wife developed bedsores, fractured her knee without an explanation by the nursing home and ultimately died due to nursing home neglect. The woman was admitted to the nursing home in 2011 because she had multiple sclerosis. She required the support of constant medical treatment because of her disease. A medical plan was put in place, but ultimately there was no reasonable standard of care.

Some basic measures that can help prevent medical negligence

Chicago residents probably know that the misdiagnosis of a medical condition can be costly and extremely traumatic. Similarly, medication, anesthesia or surgical errors can also have serious consequences. Such errors often occur due to a healthcare provider's negligence. While victims of such incidents have the option of suing, it is wise to try to prevent such incidents in the first place. After all, prevention is a better option than a cure, if a person is given a choice.

According to a report published by the Institute of Medicine, between 44,000 and 98,000 people die in American hospitals every year because of lapses in patient safety. That is a startling number, and therefore the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in association with the American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association, came up with five basic safety measures to prevent such incidents of medical negligence.

  • First of all, a patient and that patient's family members must resolve all doubts with their doctor and nurses during the treatment. It is advisable for the patient to speak with a familiar doctor. That doctor should be well acquainted with the treatment plan.
  • For medications, the patient should inform the doctor in advance about all medications. Additionally, it is important to inform the doctor about drug allergies. When being prescribed new medications, the patient should ask about the possible side effects and make sure that the patient buys exactly what the doctor prescribed.
  • It is also important to obtain and understand all test and medical procedure results. If there are any doubts, those doubts should be resolved quickly.
  • If the treatment requires a hospital stay, the doctor should advise the patient about the best hospital for that particular treatment. When leaving the hospital, it is important for the patient to thoroughly understand the follow-up care plan.
  • In the event of surgery, it is important to ensure that all doctors and surgeons attending to the patient agree on the surgical procedure. It is also important that the patient resolve all doubts about that procedure, including what is supposed to be done and how long the procedure should take.

OSHA fines Illinois scrap metal company for violating rules

Manufacturing and construction worksites are typically hazardous environments. Heavy machinery and equipment, ladders and other dangerous tools may make these kinds of work sites potentially dangerous work zones. If any worker is injured in a workplace accident, Illinois law requires that the company responsible for the injuries provide workers' compensation. However, employers in this situation may be subject to government-imposed fines, as well.

In a recent incident, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration asked an Illinois-based metal recycling company to pay more than $350,000 for repeated violations that it discovered over the last several months. Five violations were said to be willful and nine violations were regarded as serious. OSHA had conducted an investigation into the company's facilities in two Illinois locations a few months ago.

Star safety ratings provide information about crash protection

Residents of Chicago, Illinois, may know from experience that all vehicles destined for sale in the United States are required to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards. Failure to meet these safety standards can result in product liability claims. If a claim is successful, the automobile manufacturer is held responsible for the consequences.

In addition, a defective car manufacturer also may be liable to pay damages under consumer product liability laws due to injuries received in a car accident caused by a dangerous and defective part of a car. If a consumer cannot ascertain how safe a particular product is until he or she drives it, automobile safety ratings provided by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, under the New Car Assessment Program, or NCAP, can help.

Nursing home abuse often calls for remedial action

Residents of Chicago, Illinois, want their elderly loved ones to be safe. Many elderly loved ones need to live in nursing homes so that they get the proper care that they need.

Although nursing homes aim to protect the residents, nursing home abuse and deaths are not uncommon in Illinois and in the rest of the United States. Since the elderly are often more vulnerable than younger people, they may not speak about the neglect and abuse.

Social media may influence health care decisions in Chicago

Many Chicago residents are active on social media and know that products and services are often the subject of social media ratings. The growing popularity of social media is becoming an important link of communication between business and the general public and is forcing many businesses to have a significant presence on social media to reach out to consumers.

In late 2013, Facebook started giving an option for organizations to allow users to give ratings ranging from one to five stars on their official Facebook pages. Since then, various organizations, including hospitals, have allowed it. Now a study published online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine suggests that hospital ratings on Facebook appear to reflect the current quality of health care.

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