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

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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

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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?

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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

 

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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

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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.

Video: Utah Medical Malpractice Lawyer Discusses Top 5 Signs of Medical Malpractice

 

This video by Utah medical malpractice lawyer Jared Faerber discusses some of the signs or hints that malpractice may have occurred.  Of course, none of these things prove malpractice, but they can be things that warrant further investigation.  If you believe you may have a case, you should consult with experienced Utah medical malpractice lawyers.  Feel free to contact attorney Jared Faerber at The Faerber Law Firm, PC (801) 943-1005 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Utah Lawyer: Top 5 Signs of Medical Malpractice

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You suspect you may have been injured by medical malpractice, but how can you know?  Medicine is complicated and requires years of training and experience to truly understand.  Doctors and nurses are dedicated professionals.  However, even the most careful person can make a mistake.  When those mistakes occur in a medical setting, serious injury or death can result.

As a Utah medical malpractice lawyer, I have noticed certain patterns, or signs, of possible medical malpractice.  These things certainly don’t prove malpractice, but they may indicate the need to explore, usually with an experienced attorney, the possibility of medical malpractice.  Here is the list:

1.   Delayed Diagnosis.  

Was your cancer, heart attack, infection, or other disease not discovered until it was too late to receive effective treatment?  Were your symptoms ignored or attributed to another, less dangerous, disease?  Did the health care provider procrastinate needed tests and procedures without adequate justification?  These types of things may indicate malpractice.

2.  Your Doctor Failed to Order a Common Test or Additional Tests

Some diseases and disorders are treated with a standard series of tests.  Failure to perform these tests may be malpractice and may result in misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis.  Sometimes a very simple test can reveal a disease and allow early treatment and even a cure.

3.  You Received the Wrong Medication or the Wrong Dosage

Medication errors are quite common in the health care setting.  Errors can occur by the prescribing physician, at the pharmacy, or at administration in the hospital.  Many medications have similar sounding names and are easy to confuse.  Minor changes can result in massive overdoses with devastating consequences.

4.  Your Condition Does Not Improve

This is probably one of the weaker signs of malpractice on this list because often people fail to get better even in the absence of malpractice.  However, sometimes patients fail to improve because they were misdiagnosed and are receiving the wrong kind of treatment.  The wrong treatment or medication will not only fail to improve your condition, it may also make it worse.

5.   Severe Bed Sores or Pressure Ulcers

Bed sores, also called pressure ulcers or pressure sores, can develop in a hospital or nursing home setting due to prolonged pressure on the skin.  Stage III and Stage IV ulcers can even expose muscle and bone and can become infected.  They are usually preventable with proper care, including positioning and movement.

Of course this list is not comprehensive.  There are numerous other signs and types of medical malpractice.  The only way to know if you have a valid Utah medical malpractice lawsuit is to contact an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.  I’ll be happy to talk to you for free about your concerns at The Faerber Law Firm, P.C.  at (801) 943-1005.

 

Do You Need A Utah Lawyer for a Dog Bite Injury?

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Do You Need A Lawyer?

The decision to hire a Utah personal injury lawyer if you or a loved one have been injured by a dog is an important one.  Failure to hire an attorney can result in not receiving the compensation you deserve to pay for your medical expenses, lost wages, and future medical needs.  Even if you are not sure if you need an attorney, it is always wise to at least consult with an experienced Utah attorney to evaluate your options.  Most attorneys that do this type of work will talk to you for free.  If they do take your case, most will accept these types of cases on a contingency basis.  This means you pay nothing up front and only pay the attorney if you receive money on your case.  The attorney’s fee is generally a percentage of the recovery.

While every case is different, and no reputable and experienced attorney would guarantee specific results, people with lawyers generally receive much larger settlements than those without.  This is even taking into account attorneys fees.  Often, an attorney is required to evaluate the merits of your case, assess a fair value, and put appropriate legal pressure on the insurance company to pay what is fair.  Litigation (filing a lawsuit) is sometimes, but not always, necessary.  A lawyer can walk you through this often complicated process.

How Do You Choose the Right Injury Lawyer?

First and foremost, you want an attorney who is experienced and knowledgeable in Utah personal injury law.  Where did they attend law school?  How long have they been practicing law?  Have they successfully handled similar cases?  These are the types of questions you should ask.

In addition, you want an attorney who is available and willing to answer your questions.  You want an attorney you get along with and trust.  You want to be assured that your claim will be personally handled by a lawyer and not a paralegal in the firm.  Often the only way to determine these things is to meet with the attorney in person.

Many Utah dog bite lawyers will meet with you and talk to you for free.  This is an ideal time to get a sense for the attorney and decide if you think you could work well together.

Finally, don’t simply rely on advertising to make your decision.  Attorneys who advertise extensively are not necessarily better than those who don’t.  Having commercials and billboards does not necessarily mean that attorney will give your case the personal time and attention it deserves, nor does it mean that attorney is “successful.”

If you or a loved one have been attacked and injured by a dog in Utah, please feel free to contact Utah injury attorney Jared Faerber at the Faerber Law Firm, PC (801) 943-1005, for a free, no obligation, consultation to see if he is the right attorney for your case.