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Celebrity Lawyer Sued for Deficient Representation

Published on Dec 14, 2018 at 3:49 pm in Legal News.

Just because a lawyer is famous, doesn’t mean you’ll get the results you want. Andrew Milder learned this the hard way. He was wrongfully arrested and hired Hollywood attorney, Shawn Holley. Holley has a client list full of celebrities. She was on the defense team for O.J. Simpson, represented Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Justin Bieber, Kim Kardashian West, and Kanye West. She accompanied Kim Kardashian West to the White House when she spoke with the president about Alice Marie Johnson, a first-time drug offender who was serving a life sentence.

But Milder’s experience as Holley’s client in 2012 wasn’t a good one. His retainer agreement was $25,000, plus costs for a private investigator who would find more evidence for Andrew’s case.

Negligence Caused Pottsville, PA Nursing Home Residents to Suffer

Published on Dec 7, 2018 at 3:02 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

The HCR ManorCare nursing home in Pottsville, PA was investigated by state inspectors in 2017. What they found was not the environment of a caring, healthy, and well-run nursing home. Instead, the residents who lived there were severely neglected.

Neglect included failure to maintain resident hygiene, as shown by a disabled man who had long, dirty fingernails. The nursing home didn’t have enough staff to properly respond to the call buttons from the residents’ bedsides. It was common for residents to regularly soil themselves because it took too long for staff to get there to help them go to the bathroom.

There was one instance where a woman, who was dying of uterine cancer, was bruised because she was left on a bedpan for too long. A man was given too many opioids and had to go to the hospital. An unsupervised bus trip with one staff member in charge of six residents who needed aid with walking resulted in a resident flipping backward on a wheelchair ramp and had a brain hemorrhage.

The Ultimate Guide to Holiday Fun in Philadelphia – 2018 Edition

Published on Nov 19, 2018 at 11:59 pm in Fun Stuff.

We understand the importance of spending time with your family and friends during the holidays; but between shopping for presents, baking, decorating, and wrapping, the time can fly by quickly. Before the season is over, check out all that Philadelphia has to offer! There are a number of shows, festivals, and events to attend. If you’re looking for the perfect place to grab a bite to eat or wondering where to shop locally for your gifts, we’ve got info on those places, too.

Robert Sachs Writes Article Titled, “Plaintiff’s Challenges to Pre-Suit, Binding Arbitrations in Nursing Homes”

Published on Oct 25, 2018 at 7:35 pm in In The News.

We are pleased to announce that Attorney Rob Sachs of Shrager & Sachs has written an article titled, “Plaintiff’s Challenges to Pre-Suit, Binding Arbitrations in Nursing Homes,” which has been published by the Pennsylvania Association for Justice. In the article, he addresses two significant days for nursing home residents throughout the state of Pennsylvania, September 27 and 28.

On September 27th, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which administers over $1 trillion of federal reserves, issued final rules that will disallow binding, pre-dispute arbitration clauses in nursing facilities that are federally funded. Unfortunately, the next day, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated that it is bound by the US Supreme Court precedent and upheld the arbitration clause that will force separate arbitrations of survival actions that are bound by arbitration clauses and wrongful death action trials.

When Can You File a Personal Injury Lawsuit for a Work Injury?

Published on Oct 24, 2018 at 2:55 pm in Personal Injury.

Suffering an injury on the job can create a number of setbacks and concerns for victims and their families. That’s especially true if injuries are severe enough to require extensive medical treatment, long recoveries, and limited opportunity to work and earn needed wages. Fortunately, there are systems in place designed to help injured workers harmed as a result of the work they perform and provide them with compensation. Choosing the right pathway to compensation and navigating it effectively, however, is not always a simple task.

At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers provide injured victims and their families with the guidance needed to navigate the civil justice system, including victims who suffered injuries on the job as a result of preventable accidents and therefore have the ability to pursue civil personal injury lawsuits outside of workers’ compensation. From helping clients understand their rights and options to tenaciously fighting for the full financial recoveries they deserve, we work toward the best outcome possible.

What About Workers’ Compensation?

Whether you were involved in a construction accident, a car accident, or another incident while at work, your work-related injury is likely covered by your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ comp can be important for workers who suffer work-related injuries or illnesses, as it can provide wage supplementation while they recover, vocational rehabilitation services, and needed medical treatment – even if a worker caused their own injuries.

While workers’ compensation is important, especially since it is a no-fault system, there are times when injured workers may have other available options. This includes a civil personal injury lawsuit. Typically, these lawsuits require victims to prove that the negligent or wrongful acts of another party, who isn’t their employer (except in rare circumstances), more likely than not caused them harm. When successful, victims can hold at-fault parties financially liable for their damages, and recover a larger scope of damages that may not have been available to them under workers’ compensation, including damages for their pain and suffering.

Nursing Homes Profiting from High Intensity, Possibly Unnecessary Therapy, Research Shows

Published on Oct 10, 2018 at 3:00 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

A new study is revealing an alarming trend among nursing homes – facilities are increasingly providing elderly residents with intensive, costly, and possibly unnecessary therapy, even in the last weeks of their lives. The study, conducted by the University of Rochester and published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association, is raising concerns about the necessity and potential dangers of intensive therapy, as well as whether profits may be prompting their use.

Here are a few key details about the study:

  • For the study, researchers gathered and reviewed data from over 600 nursing facilities in the state of New York and the records of nearly 56,000 deceased individuals who were long-stay residents.
  • The study had a special focus on residents who received “ultrahigh intensity” rehabilitation services in the 30 days prior to their death. These services, including various forms of physical, speech, and occupational therapy, are classified at “ultrahigh” by Medicare if they are provided for more than 12 hours in a week, which is equivalent to 2 hours of rehab a day.
  • According to researchers, nursing homes are increasingly utilizing ultrahigh intensity therapy. From October 2012 to April 2016, the study notes, there was a 65 percent increase in the proportion of residents who received these services.
  • Most of the ultrahigh rehabilitation services residents received was provided during their final days of life.

Pennsylvania Passes Act 53 to Expand Prosecution Power in Elder and Nursing Home Abuse Cases

Published on Sep 19, 2018 at 3:06 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

America’s growing elderly population has facilitated the expansion of a booming industry tasked with providing the support, care, and services they need. Unfortunately, the proliferation of nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and companies offering daily care and living assistance services has also created growing concerns over the safety of our most vulnerable population, especially in terms of elder and nursing home abuse. Those concerns were a significant factor behind the recent passing of Act 53.

Act 53, which has been praised by victims’ advocates and State Attorney General Josh Shapiro, is a legislative act designed to combat elder and nursing home abuse. Though the legislation has been introduced by Pennsylvania lawmakers every session since 2007, it was only passed and signed into law earlier this year. Here are few important facts about the new law:

  • Act 53 expands the authority of the state’s Attorney General’s Office in prosecuting matters involving the abuse and neglect of elderly individuals, including those who suffer harm as a result of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
  • Prior to Act 53, the Attorney General’s office was limited to bringing allegations against facilities and wrongdoers for cases involving neglect, but not abuse. Instead, abuse allegations against nursing homes and assisted living facilities were handled by local prosecutors.
  • The new law removes a provision that previously required prosecutors handling neglect cases to prove that victims suffered actual physical injuries.

Act 53’s expansion of prosecutorial powers is significant for several reasons. First and foremost, it sends a clear message that Pennsylvania takes cases of elder abuse and neglect seriously, and that offenders can and will be held accountable for their wrongdoing and failures. In addition to expanding prosecution power and resources for these cases, the new law also expands the rights of victims and their families, many of whom often struggled under previous laws to bring at-fault parties to justice.

Boating Accidents, Victims’ Rights & Liability

Published on Aug 20, 2018 at 3:08 pm in Personal Injury.

The summer is a popular time for water activities. This doesn’t just include cooling off at swimming pools. It also includes a range of recreational boating activities, especially along the rivers and lakes throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas. Whether it’s fishing, water sports, power boating, or a simple way to enjoy the water, however, recreational boating poses numerous risks to all involved. What’s more, those risks can be substantially elevated when negligence is involved.

At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers represent injured victims and families throughout Pennsylvania, and are aware of the many situations and circumstances that can lead to preventable boating accidents. Given the fact that Pennsylvania is consistently ranked among the top U.S. states when it comes to boating-related injuries and deaths, our legal team is prepared to help victims and their loved ones understand their rights and who can be held liable for their damages.

Personal Injury Law: Your Rights After a Preventable Injury

When it comes to the preventable accidents, including boating accidents, injured victims may have the right to seek justice and compensation for their losses by pursuing a personal injury case. While the facts of each case are always unique, these matters focus on holding individuals or entities accountable for negligent acts that caused or contributed to preventable accidents. In addition to seeking accountability, personal injury claims and lawsuits are also essential to helping victims and families recover financial compensation for the damages they incurred – including their medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.

Nursing Home Injuries Caused by Inadequate Staffing

Published on Aug 13, 2018 at 3:10 pm in Nursing Home Abuse.

Families face a difficult task when deciding whether or not to place their elderly loved ones in a nursing home or assisted living facility, not to mention a challenge in finding the right one. To aid them in this journey, many families will utilize various resources that provide insight into the level of care and support facilities will provide their family member. This may include visits and consultations at the nursing homes themselves, and the use of online tools like Medicare’s five-star nursing home rating system. Unfortunately, as recent federal data indicates, those tools, even when curated by a government agency, may not always provide a full or accurate picture about the quality of care provided at facilities.

According to a recent report from The New York Times, newly acquired federal data has revealed that most American nursing homes over reported staffing levels for years as a way to game Medicare’s five-star system and benefit from higher ratings.

The findings, which came from new payroll data submissions only recently required by Medicare, showed that many U.S. nursing homes had substantial gaps in the numbers of staff and aids on duty, especially during weekends and at night. In fact, some nursing homes had staff-to-resident ratios of 1 for every 18, or even less during their lowest staffing periods, despite having reported higher staffing rates to the U.S. government. The data also revealed significant staffing gaps in the numbers of qualified nurses on duty, which were again often at their lowest during weekends and nights.

How Staffing Problems Pose Risks of Nursing Home Injuries

The new data has made waves throughout the U.S., and has prompted Medicare to reevaluate its rating system and make adjustments based on the new numbers, which had escaped oversight due to the fact that under previous policies, nursing facilities could submit staffing data that was unverified by regulators.

It is also raising awareness about just how important staffing is in nursing homes, especially when it comes to reducing risks of preventable injuries. Below, our legal team at Shrager & Sachs discusses a few ways that staffing problems can pose increased risks of nursing home injuries:

  • Neglect-related injuries – Without sufficient staff on duty, there is greater potential for the staff who are working to become overburdened by numerous tasks. These can include tasks such as responding to calls made by residents for assistance with basic needs, such as getting dressed or using the restroom, as well as time-sensitive tasks for checking in on residents, ensuring they have food and water, addressing any medical needs, and more. Unfortunately, that means residents are at risk of suffering harm and injuries that could and should have been prevented if not for neglect and oversight, including dehydration and malnutrition, injuries caused by falls, infections, and worsening of bed sores.
  • Medical problems – Many residents in nursing homes and similar facilities have extensive and evolving medical needs. This often means residents require regular check-ins, assistance with daily tasks, and time-sensitive administration of medications or forms of treatment for a given condition. When staff are overburdened and facilities understaffed, there are greater risks that such medical issues will turn into medical problems and preventable injuries, including those caused by medication errors, missed treatment, and more. It may also mean that untrained staff will administer medical care that registered and licensed nurses or medical professionals should provide.
  • Emergencies – Inadequate staffing is especially dangerous when it comes to responding appropriately to emergencies. This may include any number of medical emergencies and issues such as falls, assaults between residents, and more. Because time is often of the essence in such situations, a lack of timely response and a lack of appropriate immediate treatment can prove disastrous when emergencies occur.
  • Nursing home abuse – Abuse in nursing homes is unfortunately more common than most think, which is why vigilance and adequate staffing are so critical to reducing risks that a resident will become a victim. With insufficient staff, however, overburdened aides or nurses are more likely to become abusers themselves, often as a result of stress, fatigue, and more. They are also less likely to provide the care and monitoring needed to spot warning signs when abuse does occur, whether that involves physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse committed against residents by other staff members or by other residents.

Our legal team at Shrager & Sachs regularly features posts on our blog about nursing home abuse and neglect, as well as important issues that affect nursing home residents and their families. In light of the new findings, we want to remind families of the importance of choosing a nursing home facility carefully, and regularly checking in on the health and affairs of a loved one. We also want to remind families that they have legal rights should an elderly family member suffer preventable harm in a nursing home as a result of abuse, neglect, insufficient staffing, medical malpractice, and any other form of negligence.

If you have questions about a potential nursing home injury case, your rights when pursuing the justice and compensation your deserve, and how our award-winning Philadelphia nursing home injury lawyers at Shrager & Sachs can help, contact us for a free and confidential consultation. Our firm proudly serves nursing home residents and families throughout the state of Pennsylvania and beyond.

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