APRIL 2009

In this IssueApril 2009


A jury this month awarded $17.5 million in damages to a man who lost all his limbs because of a hospital-acquired MRSA infection. I personally know someone who contacted MRSA and I can tell you the infection is very serious because it is largely antibiotic resistant. David Fitzgerald had both arms and legs amputated after contracting a severe staph infection-known as MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus – after surgery for ulcers at a local hospital. His doctors treated him, but failed to prescribe Vancomycin, a unique antibiotic used to treat MRSA. The infection was followed by septic shock. Fitzgerald developed gangrene in all four of his limbs. He was transferred to another hospital for the amputations and is now a quadruple amputee. If you or anyone else contracted an infection resulting in a serious injury while in a hospital or under a doctor’s care, please call us to discuss your claim.

  • Hotel Guest Can Sue For Pesticide Poisoning

Hotel guests who claimed they were injured by the spraying of pesticides in their room are not required to produce expert testimony on the standard of care required, a Court of Appeals has ruled.

  • Autism Vaccine Claims Thrown Out

The plaintiffs in three separate cases alleged a causal link between childhood vaccines and autism but they failed to show the connection, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims has ruled. Approximately 5,000 families are seeking compensation under the National Vaccine Compensation Fund. The Court ruled that the scientific evidence weighed against the plaintiffs’ claims and that the plaintiffs had failed to offer a “biologically plausible” medical theory. Thus the claims were thrown out of court.

  • Worker With Diabetes Can Sue Employer For Discrimination

An employee with type 2 diabetes can show that he is disabled for the purpose of bringing a discrimination suit against his former employer, a court has ruled.

  • Justice To Rule On Seizure Of Property

The U.S. Supreme Court will decide whether local law enforcement agencies may seize and retain personal property indefinitely without a hearing pursuant to a state forfeiture statute. This is often a very real problem for people arrested in these cases. The Court will review a claim involving a car seized by the Chicago police department. Under a state statute, the time between seizure of the car and the filing of judicial forfeiture proceedings could range from three to six months, depending on the value of the property. The car owner argued this violated due process because he is without use of his car while the case is pending. The 7th Circuit held that some type of procedure is required to give the owner an opportunity to challenge the seizure. “We are not contemplating protracted proceedings, but rather notice to the owner of the property and a chance, perhaps informally, to show that the property should be released given the length of time which can result between the seizure of property and the opportunity for an owner to contest the seizure. Some sort of mechanism to test the validity of the retention of the property is required,” a lower court held. A decision from the Supreme Court is expected in June.