Personal Injury Subrogation, continued

Last October I wrote about Walmart asserting a subrogation claim against one of its employees who had made a recovery in a personal injury case.  The case is an example of how many cases can become difficult, if not impossible, to resolve because of the subrogation claims.

This problem is picking up a little steam in the non-legal blogosphere.  This week, the case has been the subject of the following posts:

These type of subrogation problems arise in almost every personal injury case.  In fact, we often spend more time trying to resolve the subrogation claims than trying to resolve the underlying injury claims.  It is my hope that the issue will continue to get coverage in the popular press, and we might see some legislative action to make the situation more equitable.  We certainly aren’t going to see much relief from the courts.

For other subrogation links, check out the following:

  • Subrogation Primer
  • Texas Supreme Court Again Votes Against Personal Injury Plaintiffs
  • A Troubling New Case

To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit http://www.civtrial.com/.

Personal Injury Subrogation, continued

Last October I wrote about Walmart asserting a subrogation claim against one of its employees who had made a recovery in a personal injury case.  The case is an example of how many cases can become difficult, if not impossible, to resolve because of the subrogation claims.

This problem is picking up a little steam in the non-legal blogosphere.  This week, the case has been the subject of the following posts:

These type of subrogation problems arise in almost every personal injury case.  In fact, we often spend more time trying to resolve the subrogation claims than trying to resolve the underlying injury claims.  It is my hope that the issue will continue to get coverage in the popular press, and we might see some legislative action to make the situation more equitable.  We certainly aren’t going to see much relief from the courts.

For other subrogation links, check out the following:

  • Subrogation Primer
  • Texas Supreme Court Again Votes Against Personal Injury Plaintiffs
  • A Troubling New Case

To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit http://www.civtrial.com/.

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #55

round upAround here the temps are hitting the 80s, and more and more people are out and about in shorts and bathing suits. So it seems appropriate to note the post from the DC Med Mal Blog about a new study that shows skin cancer risks vary according to geography, and the Southern US, not surprisingly, has a higher rate for most kinds of skin cancers.

And there was more bad news for those of us in Austin (quite possibly the allergy capital of the world) when Singulair was linked to reports of suicide.

Not on to the tort reform stories….

The tort reform story of the week was Adam Liptak’s NYT article, Foreign Courts Wary of US Punitive Damages. Mass Torts, Turkewitz, California Punitive Damages Blog, and PrawfsBlawg.

A second big story of the week was the PRI study that shows that tort reform doesn’t work (at least according to those of us on the plaintiff’s side of the docket).

Speaking of tort reform not working, five years after enacting caps, Ohio has fewer doctors delivering babies.

One hot topic of the week is the idea of personal injury lawyers using websites that appear to be medical websites. The topic was addressed by Miller & Zois and Overlawyered (which is undergoing a design change that apparently still has a few kinks to be worked out).

MedPage Today also had thoughts on tort reform from the Clinton campaign (via TortsProf) (And it’s a timely article for those of us in Texas. Our wacky delegate process continues this weekend with each Texas senate district have conventions to elect our delegates to the state convention in June where it will finally be decided whether Clinton or Obama end up with more net delegates from our state. The likely result is that taking into account the popular vote, which was widely reported on, and the caucuses, Obama will net 1 or 2 delegates from the great state of Texas.)

Speaking of Texas, the Texas Supreme Court has sent its spokesman to defend its long wait times that received much publicity last week.

And in the “tort reform by preemption” category, an Alaska judge offered the opinion that the FDA wasn’t “capable of policing” drug safety. This is the same concern issued by Federal Judge Jack Weinstein in 2007 and us on other occasions. On the other hand, one columnist at the WSJ asks whether the FDA is tougher than its European counterparts. And on a related note, the FDA is considering allowing companies to advertise for off-label uses.

And speaking of drugs, Dr. Andrew Wakefield, who wrote a paper and linked the MMR vaccine to autism, is on trial in England. I learned in the local newspaper this morning that Dr. Wakefield now resides in Austin.

In Virginia, Ben Glass asks whether nursing homes should be required to carry insurance.

And finally, the National Law Journal looks at the trend of doctors requiring arbitration agreements.

And we move around the country for the actual litigation related news…

In Minnesota, a case is proceeding that involves the common fact pattern of a child injured by a swimming pool drain. Sadly, the young girl died from the complications. But the Minneapolis Star Tribune used the occasion to run an interesting story that looks at how the death of the plaintiff affected the value of the case.

In Michigan, a jury awarded a patient’s family $9 million in a failure to diagnose case against Michigan State University docs. (This is particularly noteworthy since Tom Izzo’s Spartans are playing in the South region this weekend in Houston).

In Nevada, it appears that the Vegas endoscopy center cases will be tried as a class action.

In New York, an appellate court ruled that the 9/11 cases brought by World Trade Center clean up workers can go forward.

Also in New York, it appears we have the first lawsuit from the crane collapse.

In Alaska, Eli Lilly paid $15 million to settle the state’s Zyprexa lawsuit.

Internationally, a NY federal judge has set aside a $200 million judgment against the Palestinian authority arising from a terrorist attack in Israel.

And in perhaps the least surprising study ever, the elderly face higher risk of injury on escalators.

That’s it for this week. Thanks again for reading, and have a great weekend.

Brooks Schuelke

To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit http://www.civtrial.com/.

Personal Injury Law Round-Up #54

I love this time of year. Spring rolls in, the weather’s great, and most importantly, the NCAA basketball tournament is gearing up. My University of Texas Longhorns are a #2 seed, and I’m very hopeful that they’ll get a chance to play in the Final Four in San Antonio, an hour from Austin. Times like this make me thankful we have a sports bar in the building.

But enough reminiscing. It’s on to the personal injury news. And as always, we’ll start with tort reform……

At TortDeform, they ask where is the discussion of tort reform and civil justice issues during this election? Unfortunately, as I noted in Personal Injury Law Round-Up #47, most voters don’t care about tort reform issues.

Sheila Scheuerman at TortsProf has a look at SorryWorks. Along the same lines, Eric Turkewitz has an interesting post on Why Patients Call Lawyers. Number 1 on the list is that patients feel betrayed because the docs won’t level with them. We’ve also written on this before.

The National Association of Manufacturers looks at the Eliot Spitzer scandal’s affect on tort reform. As a bonus, it contains a cite to Turkewitz’s blog.

And the Health Beat Blog notes a study that tort reform hasn’t effected payments or other measurables in the tort reform debate.

We often bemoan the lack of jury trials, but the “decreasing chance for advocacy” phenomenon extends to Texas appellate courts as well. Texas appellate lawyer Todd Smith (on his new LexBlog blog) calls out the Texas Third Court of Appeals for the new trend of denying requests for oral arguments.

And speaking of appellate courts, the Texas Supreme Court backlog of cases has been in the news this week. The Dallas Morning News Trail Blazers blog covered the story. As did Austin’s KVUE. (Thanks to the good folks at Texas Watch for the tip to the DMN story.)

And finally, in the lawyers behaving badly category, the criminal trial against a personal injury lawyer accused of defrauding a client and falsely inflating legal settlements ended in a mistrial.

Now, on to the personal injury news…

One of the big medical error stories of the week was the Dennis Quaid interview on 60 Minutes. Several blogs commented on it, including us, Dr. Z’s Medical Report, Pharmalot, and the Dallas Injuryboard site.

Also in the medical malpractice arena, a Minn. hospital has admitted removing the wrong kidney of a cancer patient. Sadly, this problem isn’t all that unusual.

Staying with med mal, Ben Glass reports that a Massachusetts teenager was awarded $500,000.00 (plus $309,000.00 interest) for a lost testicle. I don’t want to be too graphic, but that’s not enough. Especially for a teenage boy.

From the NYT, Eli Lilly discussed off-label marketing for Zyprexa.

Speaking of pharma issues, at least some believe a counterfeit substance may be behind the heparin poisonings. Turkewitz also has a post on it.

The NYT also reports on a couple of construction site disasters. First, it reports that an NTSB report on the Minneapolis bridge collapse found that construction workers placed 99 tons of sand over two of the bridge’s weakest points. And then, they also report that the failure of a nylon strap caused the New York crane collapse.

Also on the NYC crane collapse, a New York city inspector has been criminally charged with falsifying records saying he inspected the crane when he had not.

For those handling car wreck cases, a new study confirms that pain last longer than previously expected.

And in the City of Brotherly Love, a jury handed down a $25 million asbestos verdict.

And on to the miscellaneous news….

For all of us that were a year into a case and asking, “what were we thinking?” John Day has a post on case selection.

Anne Reed has another good post that looks at the use of jury questionnaires. Anne’s blog is outstanding. If you try cases and don’t read it regularly, then you are doing you and your clients a disservice.

The Lean and Mean Litigation blog has the Zen of a winning litigator.

That’s it for this week. Enjoy the tournament, and have a great weekend.

Brooks Schuelke

To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit http://www.civtrial.com/.

Dennis Quaid: Medical Errors Are Huge Problem

“IT’S BIGGER THAN AIDS.  IT’S BIGGER THAN BREAST CANCER. IT’S BIGGER THAN AUTOMOBILE ACCIDENTS.  AND YET, NO ONE SEEMS TO REALLY BE AWARE OF THE PROBLEM.”

I couldn’t have said it any better myself.  That quote from Dennis Quaid accurately sets forth the problem with medical errors.  Over 100,000 people a year die from medical mistakes, but no one seems to notice.  The Quaids want to change that, and they are using their celebrity to try and raise awareness of the problem.  One of their first stops on the publicity tour was a weekend interview on 60 Minutes.  Their powerful story is below.

To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit http://www.civtrial.com/.

Another Lawyer Missing A Deadline

A jury handed down a verdict in a Mississippi legal malpractice case this week. The case involves the familiar fact pattern of an attorney failing to file suit prior to the expiration of the statute of limitations. But even worse, it appears the attorney didn’t tell the client that the case was dismissed until several months (or even years) after the fact.

Let this be a lesson in what not to do. I often say that people are forgiving as long as they are told what’s going on. Many of the people that seek to hire us don’t do it because they were harmed, but because of the way they were treated after they were harmed. They come because their prior attorney quit returning their calls, lied to them or otherwise tried to cover up the mistakes. I remain firmly convinced that an attorney admitting the mistakes and offering an apology is the best way to prevent an impending legal malpractice claim.

Posted on: March 4, 2008 | Tagged

Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC maintains offices in Austin, Texas. However, our attorneys and lawyers represent clients throughout the state of Texas, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Forth Worth, El Paso, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Round Rock, Georgetown, Lockhart, Bastrop, Elgin, Manor, Brenham, Cedar Park, Burnet, Marble Falls, Temple and Killeen. By Brooks Schuelke


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