E Cigarette Hazards

Electronic Cigarettes or vapor cigarettes are devices made from metal tubes which contain a cartridge filled with nicotine laced liquid. The liquid is vaporized by a battery powered heating element.  E Cigarettes mimic cigarettes and come in a variety of flavors.  Manufacturers of e cigarettes falsely claim they are a less dangerous alternative to smoking cigarettes and an alternative smoking cessation device.

In a 2009 analysis of certain electronic cigarettes, the FDA found that e cigarette cartridges contain carcinogens including nitrosamines and toxic chemicals such as diethylene glycol.  The FDA has major concerns about the safety of e cigarettes for the smoker and non-smoke

“If you are around somebody who is using an e cigarette you are breathing in aerosol of exhaled nicotine, ultra-fine particles, volatile organic compounds and other toxins,” reports Dr. Stanton Glantz, Director of the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, University of Southern California, San Francisco.  The vapor inhaled and exhaled is not pure water vapor and can lead to major health risks.

Americans for Non-Smokers Rights are concerned that e cigarettes are being falsely marketed as something that smokers can use in the workplace and public places where smoking of tobacco is prohibited.  Others fear deceptive marketing practices and believe false claims of e cigarettes as a “safe alternative to smoking tobacco” are tempting teens to addiction.  The variety of flavors they come in are an added temptation to teens.

Currently, e cigarettes are unregulated and manufacturers are not required to disclose the ingredients in e cigarette liquid, nor the substances present in the aerosol.  The FDA aims to regulate them as tobacco products after a U.S. Court of Appeals decided that the FDA cannot regulate them as a drug delivery device, which is how nicotine replacement products are regulated.   In September 2010 the FDA sent warning letters to 5 retailers advising that their practices are in violation of the FDA and Cosmetic Act.

As of April 2015, 354 municipalities and 3 states include e cigarettes as products that are prohibited from use in smoke free environments.  Cities and states can enact laws that regulate when and where they can be used as well as laws that regulate sales to minors or where product can be sold.  City and state law makers must address these issues.

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At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

Wandering Off Hudson & Castle

Cyber Bullying Stories: The Ryan Halligan Case (1989 – 2003)

The Cyberbullying Story:  The website operated by Ryan’s parents, John and Kelly Halligan, states that early concerns about Ryan’s speech, language and motor skills development led to him receiving special education services from preschool through the fourth grade. Ryan’s academic and physical struggles made him the regular target of a particular bully at school between the fifth and seventh grade. In February 2003, a fight between Ryan and the bully not only ended the harassment at school, but led to a supposed friendship.

However, after Ryan shared an embarrassing personal story, the newly found friend returned to being a bully and used the information to start a rumor that Ryan was gay. The taunting continued into the summer of 2003, although Ryan thought that he had struck a friendship with a pretty, popular girl through AOL Instant Messenger (AIM). Instead, he later learned that the girl and her friends thought it would be funny to make Ryan think the girl liked him and use it to have him share more personally embarrassing material—which was copied and pasted into AIM exchanges with her friends. On October 7, 2003, Ryan hanged himself in the family bathroom. After his son’s death, John discovered a folder filled with IM exchanges throughout that summer that made him realize “that technology was being utilized as weapons far more effective and reaching [than] the simple ones we had as kids.”

Aftermath: There were no criminal charges filed following Ryan’s death because no criminal law applied to the circumstances. Seven months after Ryan’s death, Vermont’s Bully Prevention Law (ACT 117) was signed into law by Governor Jim Douglas. John Halligan also authored Vermont’s Suicide Prevention Law (ACT 114), which passed unchanged in April 2006.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

 

 

 

Charging the Jury

In jury trials, juries are the fact finders or trier of fact.  It is the jury’s responsibility to sort through disputed accounts presented in evidence before coming to a decision during deliberation at the end of the trial.  The judge decides questions of law, i.e., how the law applies to a given set of facts. In most trials, jurors can take reasonable notes while paying close attention to the evidence and arguments presented.  They cannot be given a transcript of the trial, but must rely on their notes and collective memories.  They are permitted to have all the trial exhibits with them in the jury room during deliberations.

To aid jurors during the deliberation process, the judge, at the end of the trial, “charges the jury.”  Jury instructions are a set of lengthy legal rules that jurors must follow when deciding a civil or criminal case.  The instructions explain how a jury should deliberate and how they should analyze the witnesses and the evidence.  In jury instructions, the law of the case is explained in detail and they are instructed to make their decision strictly according to the law.  Jury instructions are given to the jury by the judge orally, in writing or both.  Jury charges are reviewed beforehand by attorneys on both sides in the case.

The majority of the states in the United States have a basic set of instructions, usually called “pattern jury instructions,” which provide the framework for the charge to the jury. Delaware follows “Delaware’s Civil Pattern Jury Instructions.” Jury charges are often very complex and play a significant role in jury discussions.

You may read the State of Delaware’s Civil Pattern Jury Instructions here

http://courts.delaware.gov/Superior/pattern/pattern.stm

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

Medicare’s Stringent Requirements For Post Hospital Care

AARP reported in an article dated October, 2012 that an elderly patient, Jean Arnua, spent five days in the hospital for a fractured spine following an emergency room visit.  Neither she nor her family was aware that Jean had never been “formally” admitted to the hospital.  The stay was recorded as “observation” and not “in patient” by the hospital.  Once discharged, the family wanted to place Jean in a Skilled Nursing Facility for post hospital rehabilitation care.  This is when they discovered she was never fully admitted to the hospital.  The financial consequences were staggering.

Medicare will only pay for post hospital care in a Skilled Nursing Facility after the patient has been an “in patient” at a hospital for three consecutive days.  They will pay for the full twenty days in a Skilled Nursing Facility if the patient meets this requirement.  If they do not, the patient is financially responsible for the entire bill at the Skilled Nursing Facility.

Another example is Amau, an 84 year old widow, who received a bill for $3,900 from a Skilled Nursing Facility for a two week stay.  Medicare did not cover her stay because she did not meet the three day “in patient” hospital stay requirement.

Are elderly patients being financially exploited?  Experts believe hospitals are using the observation status in order to protect themselves against new policies that penalize hospitals for unnecessary admissions and frequent readmissions of the same patient.  Medicare is auditing hospitals where they believe the hospital is admitting patients unnecessarily.  Elderly patient are caught in the crossfire between hospital administration and Medicare policies.  Due to these policies, elderly patients have suffered negative health consequences and substantial financial loss.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

ANESTHESIOLOGIST TRASHES SEDATED PATIENT AND PAYS FOR IT!

The Washington Post recently reported that a Vienna, Virginia man pressed the “record” button on his smartphone prior to the start of his colonoscopy with the intention of recording post-op instructions the doctor would give him following the procedure. The man’s phone, which was left in his pants, was placed beneath the surgical table and therefore recorded the conversation between the medical staff during the procedure in its entirety.

After he awoke from the general anesthesia and recovered enough to safely drive home, he hit the “play” button on his phone and listened to much more than post-op instructions from his doctor. He was shocked to find that the surgical team had mocked and insulted him throughout the procedure. While the patient was sedated, the female anesthesiologist was recorded as saying to him, “After five minutes of talking to you in pre-op, I wanted to punch you in the face and man you up a little bit.” When an assistant noted that the patient had looked queasy while watching a needle administered to his arm, the anesthesiologist was recorded as saying, “Well, why are you looking then, retard?” There were also disparaging comments made about a rash on his genitals, suggesting he had syphilis or tuberculosis.

In addition to these unwarranted remarks, the doctor, in order to avoid the patient after the colonoscopy, instructed an assistant to lie to the patient after he awoke from the anesthesia.  The assistant was to tell the patient that the doctor had already discussed the findings with him, but the patient just couldn’t remember. If that was not enough, a false diagnosis of hemorrhoids was entered into the patient’s chart even though none was detected.   Why would he do this? Evidently, the doctor felt, “People are into their medical problems. They need to have medical problems.”

The patient rightly sued the two doctors and their practices for defamation and medical malpractice and after a three-day trial,  a Fairfax County jury awarded him $500,000.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

Erin’s Law

Erin Merryn, childhood sexual abuse survivor, author, speaker, child advocate and activist is the founder and President of Erin’s Law, a non-profit social welfare organization in the State of Illinois.  Erin is a survivor of rape by an uncle from the age of 6-8, without her parent’s knowledge.  She is now on a mission to persuade all 50 states to pass Erin’s Law, which mandates all public schools to use age appropriate curricula to teach students how to tell on anyone who touches or attempts to touch their private parts.

The law was originally introduced in her home state of Illinois, in 2011.  The law was named after Erin in honor of her efforts to protect children from sexual abuse.  Once it was signed by legislators, it caught on nationwide.  She has met with dozens of state legislators, testified in front of State Senate and House committees, served on several committees to draft bills and implement the new laws.  Due to her efforts, 26 states have passed Erin’s Law.

According to Erin’s Law.com, every six minutes a child is sexually abused in the United States.  One in every 4 girls and 6 boys will be sexually assaulted before they turn 18.  More than 90% of the assault are from a family member or friend.  Only 1 in 10 sexually abused children ever tell anyone about it.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

Expert Witness

In most states, medical malpractice cases require testimony from a medical expert.  In the state of Delaware, the medical expert’s testimony is submitted in the Affidavit of Merit which must be filed in court with the original complaint, when initiating the lawsuit.

A medical expert will address two questions central to any medical malpractice case:

  • Did the doctor follow the standard of care for a doctor in the same position?
  • Did the doctor’s failure to follow the standard of care injure the patient?

The term standard of care means, the level of care that a reasonable, competent doctor would have given in the situation at issue in the case.  The expert witness will give testimony as to whether the doctor being sued administered that standard of care.  If the expert witness testifies that the doctor did not live up to the standard of care, he must also testify that the negligence of the doctor more than likely caused the patient’s injury.

It varies from state to state who may testify as a medical expert.  If the case involves malpractice within a specialized field, it is wise to find an expert witness within that field.  In the case of general medicine, a wider range of doctors who have the experience and training necessary to qualify as an expert witness are available.

Medical malpractice law is highly regulated by a complex body of rules that vary from state to state.  It is essential to get advice from a lawyer who is highly trained in medical malpractice.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

What Is A Tort?

A Tort is defined as a wrongful act.  Torts are wrongdoings done by one party against another and recognized by law as grounds for a civil lawsuit.  For example, say you are an elderly woman walking on the sidewalk at an outdoor shopping plaza and are hit by a person riding their bike on the plaza’s sidewalk.  Bicycles and skateboards are prohibited for use on the sidewalks. You become the Plaintiff, or injured party and the bicyclist becomes the Defendant or negligent party.  The primary aim of tort law is twofold; to provide relief for the damage or injury incurred and to deter others from committing the same harm. Unlike a criminal case, which is initiated and managed by the State, a tort suit is prosecuted by the Plaintiff.  A successful tort suit results not in a sentence of punishment but in a judgment of liability.  Some types of damages the injured party may recover are; loss of earnings capacity, pain & suffering and payment for medical expenses.

There are numerous specific torts including trespass, assault, medical malpractise, negligence, products liability and intentional infliction of emotional distress.  Torts fall into three general categories:  intentional torts, negligent torts and strict liability.  Tort law is based on the legal premise that individuals are liable for the consequences of their behavior if it results in harm to another.  In addition to providing relief for the injury or damage, tort law aims to deter others from committing the same harm.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

Common Injuries That Form A Basis For A Nursing Home Lawsuit

In this video, I discuss some common issues in nursing homes that may be the basis for a lawsuit in Delaware.

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At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.  

What to Expect When Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you are considering filing a Personal Injury lawsuit, it is helpful to understand the stages involved. The following is not intended to be legal advice or an exact process for handling a law suit, but to educate you about the process so you know what to expect

* Choose your lawyer soon after the injury. It is in YOUR best interest to have an objective, experienced counsel from the outset of your lawsuit. The complexity of civil procedure dictates the need to hire an attorney

*  Once you have chosen a lawyer, he will interview you about your accident, your background, medical condition and treatment. Your thoroughness in providing information and honesty in answering questions is essential

*  The lawyer will then gather all medical records, claims, bills and insurance documents related to your accident. Gathering this information can take anywhere from a week to months.

*  Once this information is collected, the attorney will analyze the information and determine if there is a potential case. Personal Injury attorneys work on a contingency basis and are highly skilled at being able to predict outcomes. Then know what is needed to pursue a case.

*  Though settlement can be reached at any time during a lawsuit, at times a settlement can be reached without having to go to trial. A personal injury attorney will submit a figure for settlement after obtaining your consent.

*  If settlement cannot be reached, the attorney will initiate a lawsuit by filing a Complaint on your behalf. The Complaint indicates to the other party (the Defendant) that he is being sued as a result of the accident. The Defendant then seeks his own counsel, who in turns replies with an Answer to each of the allegations. At this point, the case has begun.

*  Discovery occurs next. Both sides have the right to obtain information about the case by means of depositions, interrogatories or medical examination. Facts of the case determine your success or failure. Under the law of Delaware, there are no longer any secrets in personal injury lawsuits.

*  If your lawsuit cannot be settled for a fair amount, after discovery is complete, the attorney will prepare your case and proceed to trial. Formal trial begins with opening arguments. Trial involves the presentation of physical evidence as well as oral testimonies by both sides. These serve to support or discredit the client’s case. Closing arguments to the jury are made at the end of trial.

*  A jury will then deliberate and will issue a final judgement, which if in the Plaintiff’s favor, will involve monetary damages that the Defendant must pay the Plaintiff to compensate for personal injuries. A trial can last anywhere from a day to weeks.

Click here to contact us to schedule a free consultation to see if you have a case.

At Hudson & Castle, we approach each case ethically, honorably, and skillfully, beginning with a free consultation, continuing with the convenience of flexible appointments, and finally, charging you nothing unless we win or settle. We also handle cases on behalf of our clients who are Delaware residents but have been injured in nearby Pennsylvania. Please call Hudson & Castle at 302-428-8800 (Monday-Friday, 8:30am- 5:00pm, ET) or contact us, and we will get back to you shortly to discuss your case.