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Philadelphia Injury Lawyer Blog

The Pearce Law Firm, including well-known Philadelphia injury lawyer Edith Pearce, is dedicated to the personal care of each individual case. We believe in educating our potential clients on the variety of cases being filed in the state of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The blog posts below feature accidents and events that may lead to potential law suits. Whether you need a personal injury lawyer to represent you due to car or truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, construction accidents, dog bites, or head injuries, The Pearce Law Firm works on your behalf to provide you the compensation you deserve.

Archive for Medical Malpractice


Medical Mistakes Can Be Deadly. Do You Need Representation?

November 13, 2013

A personal injury lawyer is often consulted on medical malpractice cases, especially when they result in a fatality. In 2010 a study indicated that about 180,000 people died due to a preventable medical mistakes. Three years later, a new study done by the the Journal of Patient Safety reported the numbers to be much higher, in the 210,000-440,000 range, making it the third-leading cause of death, right below heart disease and cancer.  Patients who suffer from any sort of malpractice incident along these lines have a one in five chance of dying from resulting complications.

The list of common mistakes that a medical malpractice lawyer sees is quite long and includes surgical accidents (such as cutting an artery), not ordering the proper tests, delaying treatment, and not acting on test results. Additionally, improper patient monitoring, delaying a diagnosis, and the administration of the wrong medication dose or usage can cause complications and lead to tragic results.

The death of 19-month-old Alicia Coleman of Omaha, Nebraska, is an example of what can happen when medical personnel inject medication into the wrong tube. The young girl passed away when medicine that was meant to be administered to a particular site was inadvertently injected into her jugular catheter, sending the medication straight into her bloodstream.

Medical accidents don’t always result in death, however. Sometimes, injuries occur leaving you or your family in a tough emotional situation as well as facing even more medical issues and bills. During these times, a consultation with a personal injury lawyer can be highly beneficial in getting your questions answered, informing you of your rights, and assisting you with seeking justice for your injuries. The attorneys with The Pearce Law Firm have experience handling medical malpractice and hospital negligence cases. Visit us online at thepearcelawfirm.com for more information.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice, Wrongful Death

Inspirational Runner Completes Philadelphia Marathon After Dog Bite

March 1, 2013

This past November, the Philadelphia Marathon celebrated a number of key runners who have participated in the event over the years. Kim Pohas was one of them. As an avid runner, she trains regularly. However, in 2011, she was injured in a dog bite accident when out for a jog. While a dog bite lawyer could have helped Pohas determine if she could recover civil damages from the dog owner, the dog owner was unable to be identified by police. What made matters worse is what happened next.

After being treated for her injuries at the hospital, a follow up appointment led to the discovery that she had contracted a deadly, drug-resistant staph infection. After a two week hospital stay and five months of intensive therapy, she decided that training for the marathon would help her get back into shape and fully recover.

Stories like Pohas’ are more common than one might think. While a dog bite lawyer can offer assistance both in investigating the ownership of the dog and helping you navigate the road to recovering a settlement, the investigation could result in a dead end. It is, however, important to hire and work with an attorney who knows how to pursue these types of cases to help augment law enforcement’s efforts to find the party at fault.  Edith Pearce, the founder of The Pearce Law Firm, is a veterinarian’s daughter, and she is familiar with different dog breeds and the Pennsylvania leash laws in controlling dogs.  In Pennsylvania, dogs must be confined on their owner’s property or reasonably controlled by a person.  Also, many times the dog owner’s home insurance policy may provide coverage for dog bites when the owner has not controlled or confined their dog.

For the staph infection, it will be important to choose an attorney who has background in medical malpractice. Even though a dog bite lawyer is appropriate for pursuing a case against dog and owner, consideration must be given to filing a claim against the hospital where you contracted a staph infection.  If you ever find yourself in a situation where your care was compromised by the doctors, nurses, or other hospital staff during your treatment, the case would require a medical malpractice lawyer.

At The Pearce Law Firm, our lawyers handle both dog bite accident cases and medical malpractice cases, so we can give you advice on all aspects of your injury.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

3 Philadelphia Nursing Home Workers Found Not Guilty of Abuse

December 20, 2011

Three Philadelphia caregivers were in question after being caught on tape allegedly causing injury to and elderly dementia patient. The caregivers, Tyrina Friffin, 22, Ayesha Muhammad, 19 and Samirah Trayham, 22, all of the Philadelphia area worked at the Quadrangle Senior Living Community in Haverford Township Pennsylvania. However, after their day in court on Thursday December 15th with Judge Kevin F. Kelly, each of the workers was found to be not guilty. Although Judge Kelly called the behavior of the three women “wholly inappropriate and repugnant,” he did not find the three women guilty of causing physical or emotional injury to the defendant, 78 year old Lois McCallister.

The family of Ms. McCallister was reportedly shocked by the court’s decision. The three nursing home workers were initially charged of aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy, harassment, and neglect of a care-dependent person after an investigation began in March when McCallister’s family suspected abuse.

The McCallisser family placed a hidden camera in her room in their loved one’s room at Quadrangle and allegedly caught Friffin, Muhammad, and Trayham, mocking, endangering, and treating their 78 year old loved one inappropriately. In April the Department of Public Welfare revoked the operating license of Quadrangle and the three caregivers accused of abuse and inflicting emotional injury were dismissed from their jobs, but The Quadrangle center is now operating again.

Nursing home abuse and nursing home patient injury has been an issue in the Philadelphia area and throughout the country for the last several decades. If your relative has suffered injury due to endangerment from or negligence of others, it is advisable that you contact a Pearce Law Firm, PC attorney immediately to ensure that justice is served for your loved one.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Philadelphia Abortion Clinic Workers Plead Guilty to Causing Death and Injury

November 1, 2011

New developments were made this week in the Philadelphia medical malpractice and murder case that made headlines and chilled the entire nation last January. During that month, Kermit Gosnell, 70, of the Philadelphia area, was charged with first degree murder and several other felonies after an investigation revealed that he had been regularly overdosing patients with dangerous drugs and delivering full term healthy babies and then killing them by inflicting spinal cord injury. The former doctor Gosnell conducted these actions at The Women’s Medical Society of West Philadelphia at which he practiced for the last several years. Investigators have referred to the practice as a house of horrors, which catered to poor women, minorities, and immigrants, due to its grossly unsanitary conditions.

After last year’s investigation on Gosnell, 6 other staff members from The Women’s Medical Society of West Philadelphia were also charged with various felonies. Just last Thursday, two of those employees pleaded guilty to their charges. Adrienne Moton, 34, of Upper Darby PA and Sherry West, of Newark Delaware, each pleaded guilty of one count of third-degree murder, two counts of conspiracy, and one count of participating in a corrupt organization. West was also charged with delivery of a drug that caused wrongful death related to the 2009 death of a patient, 41 year old Karnamaya Monger, who prosecutors said died because of an overdose of a sedative.

Each of the employees may face upwards of a one hundred year sentence as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines. Sentencing is scheduled for December 2nd by Philadelphia Common Pleas Judge Benjamin Lerner, but may occur later since the action, according to the judge, will be a clerical action to get a presentence investigation started for both women. On March 1st, prosecutors announced that they will seek the death penalty if Dr. Gosnell is convicted of any of the counts of first-degree murder filed against him. To see what our experts can do for you, follow here.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Hospital Negligence Could Cause Sepsis

June 14, 2011

When it comes to Sepsis what you don’t know could really hurt you. Sepsis is a severe illness in which the bloodstream is overwhelmed by bacteria. It is caused by a bacterial infection that can begin anywhere in the body. Since common sites of infection include intravenous lines, surgical wounds, surgical drains, and decubitus ulcers (sites of skin break downs commonly referred to as bedsores), hospital stays can put patients at risk of contracting Sepsis. Sepsis contracted in hospitals is usually considered a form of medical malpractice.

If you or a loved one has a condition that causes them frequent hospital stays, you need to be aware of the symptoms of Sepsis. Contaminated equipment, hospital negligence, and poor sanitation procedures in hospitals and medical offices put patients at risk of this life threatening infection.

A sepsis victim’s blood pressure drops so low that they usually go into shock. Major organs and body systems are affected and stop working properly. These systems can include the kidneys, liver, lungs, and central nervous system. Symptoms to look out for are chills, confusion and delirium, increased urine output, fever or abnormally low body temperature, hyperventilation, lightheadedness due to low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat, skin rash, or warm skin.

If Sepsis is suspected, a blood test should be performed immediately to try to confirm the condition. Other tests done may include blood gases, kidney function tests, platelet count, white blood cell count, blood differential, fibrin degradation, and peripheral smear.

If Sepsis is confirmed, a patient is usually given antibiotics intravenously right away, usually in an intensive care unit. When left untreated this condition is life threatening and therefore if caused by a hospital or not treated properly, could be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. Consult a lawyer if you feel your love one may have been a victim.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Are Metal Hip Replacements be Putting Phialdelphia Patients at Risk?

May 24, 2011

Many recent law suits have been filed against Johnson & Johnson (J&J) for its hip replacements. In fact, more than one thousand lawsuits have been filed against the Philadelphia area company according to reports. The number of cases has actually become so large that the FDA’s interest has been peaked.

According to one May 11th report, the US Food and Drug Administration asked Johnson & Johnson as well as 20 other replacement part makers to conduct a study to find out whether its hip implants raise the level of metal in patients’ blood to dangerous levels.

Could hip replacements be putting patients in Philadelphia and all over the world at risk? Recently several patients who underwent a hip replacement surgery and received a DePuy hip replacement system have complained of symptoms including swelling and problems walking nearing the five year mark after their surgery.

The worldwide hip replacement market is a huge one and one that is expected to grow by at least 3.2% this year from 5.28 billion in 2010. According to an FDA statement, “a small number of patients in which high levels of metal ions in the bloodstream may have caused other types of symptoms or illnesses elsewhere in the body, including effects on the heart, nervous system, and thyroid gland.”

If studies do end up showing the DePuy hip replacement and other hip replacement systems elevate the metal levels in the blood to toxic levels, post surgical patients will learn that they may have been the victim of medical malpractice or that they may have a serious product liability case on their hands.

If you or a loved one has suspects they have suffered injury due to a bad hip replacement or a dangerous surgical procedure, contact www.thepearcelawfirm.com or a Pennsylvania malpractice lawyer right away.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Hypoxic or Anoxic Oxygen Deprivation and Birth Injury Could be Fatal to Infants

April 28, 2011

Did you know that negligent doctors, nurses, and hospitals could actually be fatal to your unborn child? When tragic cases of medical malpractice and birth injuries occur, it is important that parents contact a Pearce Law Firm lawyer and ensure that negligent medical professionals are held accountable for their actions. Some of the following actions have been found to be the cause of infant brain injury:

Some Causes of Infant Brain Injury

  • Delayed delivery resulting in hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain)
  • Failure to perform a timely Caesarian section
  • Complications of vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC)
  • Drug interactions, overdose or administration of contraindicated drugs
  • Traumatic injury due to improper delivery methods or failure to respond appropriately when a fetus is caught in the birth canal
  • Failure to monitor the baby’s heart rate for signs of hypoxia or distress
  • Failure to diagnose or promptly treat conditions like hydrocephaly or certain infections
  • Trauma during delivery

Infant brain injuries during delivery could cause lifelong disability, mental retardation, cerebral palsy or even immediate or eventual death. When infants become impaired for life, a family could be forced to face a lifetime of expensive for their child’s specialized medical care. This may include, but is not limited to future care, lifelong attendant care, and home modifications to provide ease of access for a child with disabilities. Your child may even be owed compensation for the lost opportunity to earn a suitable living. Filing a lawsuit in a timely manner with The Pearce Law Firm, P.C. can help secure a settlement that ensures your child will be cared for throughout his or her life.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Patients File Colonoscopy Medical Malpractice Suits Near Philadelphia and Throughout the Country

April 26, 2011

Millions of Americans in Philadelphia and throughout the country have Colonoscopy procedures each year. This is becoming a recommended routine part of basic medical care, especially for Philadelphia residents and other Americans over 50 years of age.

Colonoscopies are often very safe procedures, but it is important to remember that, if one does not choose the right doctor, injuries could occur. Many lawyers receive several complaints per year about injuries caused by Colonoscopy procedures and due to the requirements leading up to the procedure. Several patients have suffered kidney failure after using certain laxatives prior to colonoscopy procedures.

Additionally, in a recent report, a jury in New Mexico awarded plaintiff Michael Salopek $1 million in a medical malpractice lawsuit. After going to his doctor in 2005, Michael allegedly had to be treated for a puncture wound in his colon. After undergoing a colonoscopy, Salopek internal organs were pierced by the surgeon’s tools. His doctor, however, told him that the perforation had eventually healed itself.

Salopek’s even suffered from having fecal matter leaked out through the hole in his colon and into his body for 11 days before discovered. This caused serious infection and the need for Salopek to have 13 surgeries to repair damage and a part of his colon removed.

The settlement helped Michael to pay medical expenses and make up for lost wages at work. Perforations can occur during Colonoscopies and it is important for doctors to recognize and treat the problem immediately or else medical malpractice is in question. If you or a love one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact a Edith A. Pearce, Esquire or a Philadelphia injury lawyer today.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

What is Medical Malpractice?

April 14, 2011

Medical malpractice is defined as any act or failure to act by a health care professional diminishing or deviating the accepted standards of services and practices of the medical community. Some also define it simply as professional negligence.

As in every lawsuit, medical malpractice lawsuits are comprised of the plaintiff and the defendant. Medical malpractice lawsuits, however, are different than other law suits in a few distinct ways. This holds true in Pennsylvania and from state to state.

One major difference is that the cause might be more daunting and drawn out than a usual case. This is because it can sometimes be hard to prove whether or not medical malpractice really occurred. A successful case must prove that a legal duty of medical care and treatment was supposed to be undertaken by a health care officer or health care institution on the patient or plaintiff’s behalf and wasn’t.

Medical malpractice cases may involve charges against an individual doctor or medical care professional, a group of doctors, or in some cases a hospital or medical care center itself.

For a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff will need a highly specialized lawyer such as The Pearce Law Firm, PC lawyer. Pennsylvania medical malpractice lawyers know state law intimately and can help to navigate your case as smoothly as possible to reach a settlement.

In some medical malpractice cases, a power of attorney or loved one, may have to act on behalf the patient, who may have suffered death or debilitating injury due to the medical malpractice at hand. If you suspect you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, you’ll need to act right away by take the first step and calling a lawyer.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice

Pennsylvania Statutes of Limitations for Personal Injury Cases

April 12, 2011

Statutes of limitations are the primary reason that an individual will need to waste no time when it comes to contacting Thepearcelawfirm.com right away after they suspect they have become a victim. Statutes of limitations may prevent an individuals case from being heard or a settlement from being granted due to what is deemed excessive passing of time.

Statutes of limitations vary from state to state and by law suit/case time. Today we’re going to discuss the particular statutes of Limitations when it comes to negligence and personal injury cases in the state of Pennsylvania.

In Pennsylvania, the statue of limitations begins when “survival action begins to run when the decedent, and not his representatives, could have discovered his injury and its cause through the exercise of reasonable diligence.” It is said that the discovery rule, as it is known, is not needed in a wrongful death case to prevent the statue of limitations from working an injustice on a reasonable diligent plaintiff. Principle that limitations period for bringing wrongful death and survival actions was not to be extended by discovery rule did not violate remedies, due process, and equal protection clauses of the State Constitution nor the privileges and immunities, due process, and equal protection.”

The statute of limitations from wrongful death is a maximum of two years in Pennsylvania. For medical malpractice cases, the same two year statue holds true with a discovery rule. In a case of “comparative negligence” the two year statute was adopted to recover damages resulting in death or injury to person or property. When it comes to an injury or an ongoing medical illness, two years can seemingly fly by. It is important to remember to contact Edith Pearce, Esquire immediately to file your case.

Posted in: Medical Malpractice