November 16, 2012

Traumatic Brain Injury Can Be Undetected and Have Long-Lasting Effects

Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, is the term commonly used to describe when a person’s brain is suddenly penetrated or knocked against the skull. The conditions caused by traumatic brain injuries range from a mild concussion to coma or death. Experts are also now including another level of TBI called a “subconcussive” brain injury, which is not as severe as a concussion, but may still have an effect on the victim’s brain. These milder injuries may be especially harmful if they happen on a regular basis, such as with football players or soccer players.

Brain injuries in professional football players have been in the news a lot recently. Thousands of retired football players and their families have filed personal injury or wrongful death lawsuits against the NFL for brain injuries suffered throughout their careers. They claim that the NFL knew about the dangers of TBI but did not pass that knowledge on to the players. They also say that the NFL needs to be doing a better job of caring for those that suffered the injuries. The recent suicide of Junior Seau put the spotlight on the link between head injuries and the increased risk of dementia and suicide. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative disease that has been confirmed in dozens of deceased players.

On Thursday, November 15, 2012, the NFL football commissioner spoke to a crowd regarding how far football has come in protecting its players and what it is doing to continue making the game safer while still keeping it interesting to watch. His speech was not a surprise after three quarterbacks were sidelined during games with concussions earlier in the week. Researchers believe the changes made in the NFL so far have made a difference, but more needs to be done, even at a lower level. Researchers published an article in Neurology stating that a player could get hit 4,000 times both in high school and college football, and that the injuries do not have to cause a full concussion to have a lasting, damaging effect on the brain.

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May 10, 2012

Medical Malpractice during Birth can Cause Life-long Cerebral Palsy in Kentucky Infants

Injuries caused by medical professionals are always tragic because they most likely could have been avoided. When a medical error injures a child, the tragedy increases. Unfortunately, a number of these injuries occur at birth, leaving the infant and the family to deal with medical issues throughout the child’s life.

In a recent case, a jury realized the seriousness of this type of situation and awarded a child’s family $78 million in a medical malpractice case stemming from problems that started at birth. Three years ago, a woman went to the hospital because of complications with her pregnancy. The obstetrician on duty did an ultrasound and concluded that the baby had died. Almost an hour and a half later, an emergency cesarean section delivery was performed and the baby was alive. Unfortunately, the delay in the birth left the newborn with brain damage. The three-year-old has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy.

After hearing the facts of the case from both sides, the jury decided that the hospital, rather than the attending physicians, was at fault. Testimony brought to light the fact that the ultrasound equipment provided to the doctor by the hospital was old and had not been maintained in the last ten years. Also, there was no ultrasound technician available to say the results had been misread because it was a Sunday. Rather, the technician had to be contacted at home and told to come in. It was most likely these two issues that caused the jury to place the blame on the hospital.

The $78 million medical malpractice award seems very large, but it covers a wide range of issues. The child will require a lifetime of special medical care and will most likely never be able to work to support himself. The award also takes into account the pain and suffering the child has endured and will continue to endure. Of the entire amount, $1.5 million was awarded to the child’s mother for her emotional distress. The rest of the award will be used only to pay for the child’s ongoing medical expenses and care.

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April 20, 2009

Kentucky Brain Injury Law Firm: 16-Month-Old Girl Dies from TBI Caused by Jefferson County Multi-Vehicle Collision

A Kentucky multi-vehicle collision in Jefferson County has claimed the life of a 16-month-old girl. Daphnie Mangrum was pronounced dead from a traumatic brain injury at a local hospital on Saturday. Mangrum’s mother and two siblings were also injured in the catastrophic Kentucky car crash, which occurred on the Dixie Highway on Thursday afternoon. The three of them are expected to recover.

According to Louisville Metro Police, at about 4:48pm, a Mazda drifted into the center lane, hitting a Dodge Caliber, which then struck a Chevy Lumina before hitting a Dodge Ram truck. Daphnie and her family members were riding in the Lumina. The children in the car were reportedly not properly restrained. The driver of the Mazda and the Lumina were transported to hospitals. West Point resident Janet Crowell, who was driving the Dodge Caliber, was pronounced dead at the crash site.

Traumatic Brain Injuries
• Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of TBI’s, followed by fall accidents and athletic injuries.
• Every 15 seconds, someone sustains a TBI.
• TBI’s occur when there has been a jolt or blow or a penetrating injury to the head.
• 1.4 million people sustain TBI’s each year.
• 50,000 people die from TBI’s annually.
• About 2,685 kids, ages 14 and under, die from TBI's each year.

While traumatic brain injuries can range from mild (approximately 75% of TBIs are mild TBI’s) to severe to fatal, there are those who do survive and continue to live with catastrophic TBI’s that require them to receive long-term, specialized care. A TBI can affect one’s senses, memory, and the abilities to communicate, comprehend, and reason, as well as result in personality changes, depression, and changes in behavior.

Living with a serious TBI can be costly and life changing. Losing someone you love because they sustained a fatal TBI can be incredibly traumatic.

16-month-old dies from injury in Dixie Highway crash, Courier-Journal, April 18, 2009

Traumatic Brain Injury, CDC

Related Web Resources:
Brain Injury Association of America

Brain Injuries Overview, Justia

Continue reading "Kentucky Brain Injury Law Firm: 16-Month-Old Girl Dies from TBI Caused by Jefferson County Multi-Vehicle Collision " »

May 30, 2008

Kentucky Lawyers: 3 Kentucky bullying lawsuits filed by victim's families; my partner Vanessa Cantley

My partner Vanessa Cantley filed three separate bullying lawsuits on behalf of children today. In what has become a troubling pattern here in Kentucky, despite being made aware of repeated episodes of abuse, teachers and school administrators did nothing to stop the abuse.

The lawsuits were filed in three separate counties: Meade, Floyd and Oldham. These cases involve more than pushing or name calling. One Freshman at South Oldham was repeatedly assaulted by teammates on his wrestling team. The kids broke his nose, and several times choked him until he passed out. Once he regained consciousness, they would choke him again.

The families were interviewed today by WAVE3's Connie Leonard and featured on the local news cast. Read about it here.

Watch the video.

July 24, 2006

Gaps in bus laws are safety risk

State inspections on 'honor system'
By R. G. Dunlopand, Peter Smith
The Courier-Journal

Gaps in federal and state regulations could be putting bus passengers at risk.

Although buses are required by state and federal law to undergo annual inspections, for instance, no proof of inspection is required at registration, The Courier-Journal has found.

And it was a Louisville church bus with no record of ever being inspected that was responsible for sickening half a dozen children earlier this month. Emergency workers said the children suffered symptoms consistent with carbon-monoxide poisoning.

In addition, neither the state nor the federal government tracks the number of privately owned buses in Kentucky that need inspections or whether they are being inspected, the paper found.

The result is that a bus that does not undergo an inspection or fails is unlikely to be caught unless it has a chance roadside encounter with law enforcement, a random safety audit or a complaint.

"As far as state inspection is concerned, it's basically an honor system," said Maj. Glynn Powers of the Kentucky Department of Vehicle Enforcement. "We can't go behind these vehicles to make sure they got the inspection done. There's a whole lot more buses than there are of us."


Additional resources:

Judge orders church not to alter bus until investigators check it [7.20.06]
Church's use of bus investigated [7.19.06]
Lax again on bus safety [7.16.06]
1st on bus to fall ill just start of woes [7.16.06]
Church's bus fleet overdue for inspection [7.14.06]
Bus with sick kids had safety violations [7.13.06]
7 children on church bus fall ill during trip [7.11.06]