Utah Attorney Discusses Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Cucumbers


A multistate outbreak of Salmonella Poona linked to “slicer” cucumbers supplied by Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce has sickened at least 30 Utah residents.  This type of cucumber may also be referred to as “American” cucumbers. The FDA, CDC, and state officials are continuing to investigate the ongoing outbreak.

Federal and state authorities identified clusters of people made ill in separate areas and were able to trace the food back to a common supplier.  The results indicate Andrew and Williamson Fresh Produce of San Diego, California was the common supplier of the cucumbers.  The company has issued a recall of all cucumbers sold under its Limited Edition label during the period from August 1, 2015 through September 3, 2015.  The company reports these cucumbers are shipped in black, green, yellow, and craft colored cartons which reads “Limited Edition Pole Grown Cucumbers.”

People infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps.  Illness usually lasts 4-7 days, but may last longer and become severe enough to require hospitalization.  A Salmonella infection may spread from the intestines to the blood stream.  Children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are at a greater risk for severe infections.  It is estimated that approximately 400 people die each year in the United States due to acute salmonellosis.

As a Utah food poisoning attorney, I have helped many people who have suffered serious Salmonella and other food borne illnesses. I’ve worked with medical experts and attorneys from around the country to get victims the compensation they deserve.  Utah victims of these types of illnesses need the assistance of an attorney experienced litigating Salmonella poisoning cases.  If you or a loved one have suffered Salmonella poisoning in Utah due to the cucumber outbreak, please contact Attorney Jared Faerber (801) 943-1005 at The Faerber Law Firm, PC to discuss your rights.  We will be happy to talk to you for free and with no obligation.

Utah Methadone Attorney Discusses Overdose Deaths

Utah methadone attorney

Methadone works by occupying the same brain receptor sites affected by heroin and other opioids.  Because of this property, it can be used as a treatment for chronic pain as well as a therapy for opioid dependance.

Methadone Related Deaths

In the last 15 years, deaths related to methadone have skyrocketed in the U.S.  According to the US Centers for Disease Control, the number of drug-poisoning deaths involving methadone increased from 784 deaths in 1999 to 5,518 deaths in 2007; then it declined to 4,418 deaths in 2011.  While the trend is improving, the numbers of deaths attributed to methadone toxicity are staggering.  While most of these deaths are unlikely to be the result of medical malpractice, far too many of them are.

Methadone causes approximately 60-70 deaths per year in Utah.  http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/news/54426007-78/methadone-deaths-drug-utah.html.csp

Legal Considerations

Under Utah law, a physician or other health care provider is required to exercise the same degree of learning, care and skill possessed by others in good standing practicing in the same medical field. Failure to exercise this degree of care is considered a breach in the standard of care and, if it causes harm, allows a claim for medical malpractice.  See Farrow v. Health Servs. Corp. 604 P.2d 474 (Utah 1979).

These standards apply to doctors and other providers who prescribe or administer methadone to patients for pain management or as therapy for opioid dependance.  In Utah, there are a number of methadone clinics providing this treatment.

While methadone can be a life-saving medication for many people, it carries significant risks which doctors must weigh against any potential benefits.  Methadone is a risky medication because it remains active in the body for a long period of time.  It carries the risk of respiratory depression which can lead to death.  Methadone can also cause dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.  Initial dosing is extremely important and generally must be tailored to each individual patient.  In addition, various other medications interact with methadone and can increase its effect.  Patients must be carefully monitored on a regular basis, particularly when doses are increased or treatment is begun.  See Applying Legal Risk Management To the Clinical Use of Methadone, James O’Donnell, PharmD, M.S. and F. Randy Vogenberg, Rph, PhD.

My firm has successfully handled methadone overdose cases in Utah.  We work carefully with the surviving loved-ones, expert witnesses, and others to uncover the facts and pursue valid cases.  If you suspect your loved one died as a result of methadone toxicity which was inappropriately prescribed or monitored in Utah, please contact me, Utah attorney Jared Faerber at (801) 943-1005, for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Radiology Malpractice in Utah: Was Your Radiologist Negligent?

Studies such as x-rays, MRIs, and CT scans can provide vital information regarding a patient’s condition, but only if the correct study is performed and only if it is interpreted accurately.  Occasionally, a critical study will be misread by a radiologist.

Research suggests there are several common types of radiology malpractice committed in Utah and around the country. (See The Causes of Medical Malpractice Suits against Radiologists in the United States, Jeremy Whang, M.D., Radiology, February 2013)   These include:

  •  Errors in diagnoses.  For example, failing to identify and comment on abnormal growths, tumors or other problems in the breasts, lungs, or other organs.  Another example would be failure to correctly identify a bone fracture.
  • Errors of communication with other physicians.  Sometimes the radiologist may correctly interpret the study, but fail to pass his or her findings on the the proper ordering physician.
  • Failing to recommend additional imaging studies.  Often findings in one study suggest the need for additional studies.  Sometimes the quality of a study is too poor to provide useful information.  In these situations and others, a radiologist may need to recommend additional studies or tests.

As a Utah medical malpractice attorney handling cases against radiologists on behalf of injured patients, I have seen these types of errors in various cases.  Of course not every radiological mistake causes harm to a patient.  However, when cancer goes misdiagnosed, a brain bleed is missed, a fracture is missed, or some other critical finding leads to serious injury, the patient may have a valid lawsuit against the radiologist.

The only way to determine if a valid claim for radiology malpractice in Utah exists is to have it reviewed by a qualified Utah medical malpractice attorney.  In addition, a qualified medical expert radiologist would generally be required to win a case.

If you suspect you or a loved one are a victim of radiology medical malpractice in Utah, please feel free to contact me, attorney Jared Faerber at (801) 943-1005 for a free, no obligation consultation about your situation.

Utah Lawyer: Listeria Outbreak Linked to Caramel Apples

CaramelAppleUtahlisteriaFederal health officials reported today that five people have died and 21 others have been hospitalized, including one resident of Utah, due to a listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples.

Other states involved to date include Missouri, New Mexico, Minnesota, Texas, Arizona, Washington, California, Utah, and North Carolina.

The CDC has warned consumers not to eat any pre-packaged, commercially produced caramel apples, including those containing other toppings such as nuts, chocolate, or sprinkles until more information is available.  No illnesses related to the outbreak have arisen from apples that are not caramel coated or to caramel candy.

Listeriosis is an infection that primarily affects older adults, pregnant women, newborns and people with weakened immune systems.  Symptoms include fever, muscle aches, headache, confusion and convulsions.

Only one case has been reported in Utah so far, but CDC officials have indicated that cases occurring after December 3 might not have been reported yet.

The Faerber Law Firm, PC has experience handling cases of listeria and other food borne illnesses in Utah.  If you believe you or a loved one became ill after consuming a contaminated product, please contact attorney Jared Faerber at (801) 943-1005 for a free consultation.

Wrongful Death in Utah: Justice for Survivors


When the unthinkable happens, those left behind are sometimes left wondering if something could have been done to prevent the death of a loved one.  When the death of a spouse, parent or child results from the negligence of another, the surviving heirs may have a wrongful death claim.

What gives rise to a wrongful death claim in Utah?

A wrongful act or negligence causing a death can give rise to a wrongful death claim in Utah.  The claim is recognized by the Utah State Constitution as well as by statute.  See Utah Code Ann. Section 78B-3-106.  A wrongful death can occur due to medical malpractice, an automobile or truck accident, a slip and fall, or any other negligent act.

Who can bring the claim?

A Utah wrongful death lawsuit must be brought by the heirs, or personal representative on behalf of the heirs, of the deceased.  If an adult had a guardian at the time of the death, the guardian may bring the action on behalf of the heirs.  See Utah Code Ann. Section 78B-3-106(2).  The laws can be complex in this area and an attorney must evaluate your specific situation, but generally, the claim can be brought by a surviving spouse, adult children, or parents.

What damages can be recovered?

Utah law allows surviving heirs to recover economic damages such as money for the loss of financial support, the loss of inheritance, and other economic benefits that the heirs would have received had the decedent lived.

Money damages can also be recovered for general damages for the loss of things such as love, companionship, society, comfort, protection and affection which survivors have sustained and will sustain in the future.  See Utah Code Ann. Sections 78B-3-106 and 107 and Oxendine v. Overturf, 973 P.2d 417 (1999).

How can you tell if you have a valid wrongful death case in Utah? 

A strong wrongful death case depends on many factors that usually must be evaluated by an experienced Utah wrongful death lawyer.  As an attorney that has handled many of these cases, I look for strong liability first and foremost.  Strong liability means the death was clearly caused by some negligence or carelessness of another.  Sometimes, particularly in medical malpractice cases, an expert will need to be retained to evaluate the evidence and determine if negligence was involved.  In addition to strong liability, there must also be a source of funds to pay any damages that are awarded.  The source of these funds is nearly always insurance coverage.

If you suspect a loved-one died as a result of negligence, I would be happy to talk to you about your situation for free.  Contact Jared Faerber at The Faerber Law Firm, PC (801) 943-1005.

Campylobacter Sickens 45 in Utah this Summer


This summer, Utah state food inspectors suspended Ropelato Dairy’s license to sell raw milk after dozens of people became sick after drinking the campylobacter contaminated milk.  Raw milk is milk that has not be pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria such as salmonella, listeria, E. coli, and campylobacter.  Other products such as cream and queso fresco can also cause foodborne illnesses if they contain contaminated raw milk.

Those sickened ranged from age 2 to 74 and included people in Davis, Cache, Morgan, Salt Lake, Utah and Weber Counties.

Campylobacter, or campy, causes diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, headache, nausea and vomiting.  The illness is particularly dangerous for young children, the elderly, or those with weakened immune systems.  In severe cases, it can lead to complications such as paralysis and death.

A difficult problem is that raw milk contaminated with disease-causing bacteria does not look or smell any different than uncontaminated raw milk.  Therefore, there is no easy way for consumers to know if the milk is safe.

Since 2009, there have been 14 documented outbreaks of campylobacter infection associated with drinking raw milk in Utah alone.  This resulted in over 200 people becoming ill.  A study released by the the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found raw milk to be 150 times more likely than pasteurized milk to cause illness in those who consume it.

As a Utah lawyer who handles foodborne illness cases, I have assisted many people to recover financially from those responsible for selling contaminated products.  If you or a loved one have been sickened in a foodborne illness outbreak in Utah, feel free to contact me at The Faerber Law Firm, PC (801) 943-1005 for a free consultation.

Can I Sue for Falls in a Utah Hospital, Nursing Home, or Other Health Care Facility?


Falls are a big problem.

Falls in healthcare settings are a serious problem in Utah and around the country.  Studies suggest that an estimated 2% to 10% of hospital inpatients fall during a hospital stay.  According to the U.S. CDC, falls are the leading cause of death from unintentional injuries among U.S. adults 65 or older.  The direct medical costs to treat individuals 65 and older injured in falls is estimated at over $19 billion dollars annually in the U.S.

The most common serious injury sustained from falls is a hip fracture.  Of course, other serious injuries such as excessive bleeding, other fractures, and death also occur due to falls in hospitals, nursing homes, long-term care facilities, physical therapy offices, and other health care settings.

Legal Implications

As a Utah medical malpractice attorney, I have successfully represented individuals in claims against health care providers, hospitals, and nursing homes for injuries sustained in falls.

I have found there are many things that can be done by hospitals and other health care professionals to reduce the risk of falls.  Nursing homes, hospitals, and many other providers have a duty to develop and maintain fall prevention policies, procedures and tools.  Patients should be assessed and reassessed for fall risk.  Environmental inspections can be done to identify and eliminate risks for falls.  In addition, staff should be educated about fall prevention and risk and how to respond and report falls.

Failure to take appropriate steps to prevent falls or to properly treat patients when they occur may be medical malpractice.  Medical malpractice is a type of professional negligence where health care providers fail to follow the standards in their industry.

Of course not all falls in a hospital or doctor’s office are the fault of the health care professional.  However, if proper precautions are not taken, liability for falls may exist.

Here are some examples of successful lawsuits and claims for falls in Utah hospitals, nursing homes, and doctor’s offices:

  • A mentally compromised elderly man fell from a window at a nursing home        resulting in his death.  The nursing home failed to properly supervise the individual and secure his environment.
  • A man suffered a hip fracture getting down from an examination table after a procedure.  He was medicated and unstable, yet staff failed to assist him as required.
  • A woman was seriously injured during physical therapy.  She was given an inappropriately difficult exercise on an improper machine, improperly monitored, and improperly assisted.

Each of these lawsuits resulted in significant settlements for the injured party.  If you or a loved one have been injured in a fall at a Utah hospital, nursing home, or other medical facility, you need a Utah lawyer with experience in these types of claims.  Please call attorney Jared Faerber at The Faerber Law Firm, PC (801) 943-1005 for a free consultation.




Utah Attorney: Compartment Syndrome May be Medical Malpractice



What is Compartment Syndrome?

Compartment syndrome (CS) occurs when the pressure within a closed anatomic space becomes high enough to compromise blood flow and the function of tissues. Late or delayed treatment of compartment syndrome can have disastrous outcomes.  Muscles and nerves cannot tolerate ischemia (restricted blood supply) for longer than a few hours.  After that, muscles and tissues die and nerves become permanently injured.  In very severe cases, myoglobin is released into circulation and can result in kidney (renal) damage.  Renal failure, infection, and sepsis can result and lead to death.

Motor deficits such as drop foot can result from compartment syndrome.  Volkmann’s contracture is another limb deformity seen with untreated compartment syndrome.  Occasionally, infections develop which may go on to require amputation.

Compartment syndrome is a medical emergency and requires rapid intervention.  Surgical intervention is often required to relieve the pressure.  Fasciotomy can be performed to decompress the area and restore muscle perfusion.

Legal Considerations

As a medical malpractice attorney in the Salt Lake City, Utah area, I have handled cases of compartment syndrome on behalf of clients.  One individual I represented was admitted to the hospital for abdominal surgery.  Due to his positioning on the surgical table, he developed severe compartment syndrome in his hand and arm.  His hand swelled to many times its original size and he suffered excruciating pain.  Despite an emergency fasciotomy, he suffered permanent nerve damage and required skin grafts.  His case resulted in a fairly large confidential settlement.

Many compartment syndromes result from tibial or other fractures.   Other causes include a tight cast or dressing, prolonged surgery, crush injuries, and deep vein thrombosis.

It is important that your health care providers do everything possible to prevent and recognize compartment syndrome.  Failure to do so may be malpractice.  If you suspect you or a loved one have been injured due to undiagnosed or late diagnosed compartment syndrome, please give the Faerber Law Firm a call for a free consultation at (801) 943-1005.


Utah Car Accident Lawyer: 5 Essential Tips to Maximize Your Utah Injury Case

Utah Car Accident Lawyer

You’ve been injured in a car accident on a Utah roadway and want to get the most money possible for your case.  As a Utah personal injury attorney, I’ve compiled a short list of things you need to do to get the best results possible for your situation.  Of course, this isn’t a complete list, and you should always contact a lawyer in your area to get specific advice for your unique case.

The following are practical ways you can help improve the chances of getting the money you deserve from your car, truck, bicycle, or pedestrian accident in Utah:

1. Do the the right things at the scene of the accident.   

First, stop your vehicle and pull off the road, if possible.  If there are injuries call “911” and get appropriate medical attention to everyone in need as soon as possible. If someone is injured, you must try to obtain help.  If the police are not already involved, they must  be contacted for accidents involving injury, death, or property damage in excess of $1,500.  The police will also help create a Utah accident report, a DI-9. This can be an important document in your case as it can help establish fault and identifies the other parties involved.

After everyone is stabilized, you should exchange information with the other drivers.  Not only is exchanging information the smart thing to do, Utah law requires it.  Make sure you get complete names, addresses, insurance policy information, vehicle registration number, and license plate numbers.  If a law enforcement officer is involved, you can provide the required information directly to the officer instead of sharing it with the others involved in the accident.  If you are injured and not able to complete these tasks, you can postpone them until you are able to do so.

2.  See appropriate health care providers and follow their advice.

If you are injured make sure you see a doctor as soon as possible.  Don’t wait and hope that you feel better.  Sometimes, due to shock, people are unaware of their injuries until hours or days later.  If you wait too long for treatment, the at-fault driver’s insurance company may try to use that against you.

Make sure you tell your physicians about all of your injuries.  Don’t exaggerate, but don’t downplay or minimize your injuries.  It’s important for your case that your doctor understands and documents all of your injuries and how they are related to your accident.

It is also important to follow the advice of your health care providers.  For example, if they refer you for 8 weeks of physical therapy, do it.  Make sure you follow-up with any specialist referrals or other instructions.  If you are uncomfortable with the advice you are getting from a particular doctor, feel free to seek a second opinion.  Insurance companies and their lawyers will sometimes try to punish you for failing to follow medical advice, so don’t give them that weapon.

3.   Find the right lawyer for your case and follow his or her advice.

It may seem like common sense, but not all Utah personal injury attorneys are the same.  We have varying degrees of experience, skill, time, and commitment to each case.  It’s important that you find the right lawyer for your case.

The “right” attorney for your case cares about your situation, understands it, and has the legal skills and knowledge to give you the best possible chance of a good outcome.  Don’t limit yourself to lawyers who advertise on television and billboards.  Find a Utah lawyer you trust and can communicate well with.  Make sure they have the proper education and experience to handle your case.

You should contact a Utah attorney who specializes in personal injury cases as soon as you can after your accident.  They can help guide you through the critical first stages of your case.

4.   Help document your injuries and damages.

Your attorney can help you do this, but generally you want to document any injuries or damages you have suffered.  Take photographs of your damaged vehicle and any physical injuries you have suffered.  You can retake these as you heal to show the changes.  Document your lost wages with pay-stubs, taxes, or letters from the HR or payroll department of your employer.

As discussed above, help your doctor understand all of your injuries and physical limitations.  This documentation is critical to your case.

5.   Understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case, so you can make a smart decision about how to proceed.

Every case is different and they all have unique strengths and weaknesses.  Generally, very few cases are cut-and-dry.  For example, even if the “fault” part of your case is clear, there may be disagreements about the extent of your injuries, what caused them, and what type of treatment you will need in the future.

It can be helpful for you to try to understand some of the legal issues and the strengths and weaknesses of your case.  Your attorney should explain these issues to you so you can make an informed decision about how to proceed with your case.

So there it is, a Utah car accident lawyer’s tips on how to maximize your case.  Remember, this list isn’t exhaustive and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice.

If you, or a loved one, have been injured in Utah in a car, truck, bicycle, or pedestrian accident, feel free to contact The Faerber Law Firm, PC for a free consultation at (801) 943-1005.