Understanding The Meaning of Negligence 

A lot of people wonder what the difference is between a plain old accident that could happen to anyone and and accident that occurs because someone was legally negligent. This is a central part of personal injury law. When is someone “at fault?”

One of the best and most famous examples is the McDonald’s hot coffee case. Back in 1994, Stella Liebeck was awarded a record amount in a suit against McDonald’s.

McDonalds CoffeeMany were outraged by the suit and denounced it as frivolous. Liebeck was maligned as being greedy and irresponsible and accused manipulating the legal system in a manner that would create a dangerous precedent for future cases.

Indeed, there have been many copycat cases in the years following. Some were worthy of being called frivolous; others were not.

It all depends on the definition of “negligence.” Continue reading

Community Rallies Behind Traffic Tweeter After Tragedy

Caran Johnson was an inveterate follower of police accident reports. Ever since her college years, she had tracked police scanners for local news and traffic incidents — as much, she said, for the police officer banter as for the up-to-date information on what was happening in her city.

caranjohnsonIn recent years, social media had not only allowed Johnson to be even more informed, but also turned her into something of a local celebrity. Her Twitter following was something of a community service to the Vancouver, Wash. area — she routinely tweeted out up-to-the-minute details on traffic flow and news of collisions on the area’s freeways. So well known was her Twitter feed that the local newspaper, the Columbian, interviewed her about in 2012.

In this interview, she acknowledged that accident report news “gets kind of depressing, especially when there are children involved.” She described herself as a naturally upbeat person, adding that in the face of upsetting news about local traffic, “I try and maintain a positive attitude.”

In addition to monitoring police scanners, Johnson followed the social media accounts of local police. It was through a tweet from the Columbian Metrodesk account, at about 1:40 p.m. on Dec. 4, 2013, that Johnson first learned of an accident on I-205. Continue reading

Is Japan Withholding Fukushima Birth Defect Data?

It’s hard to forget the 2011 Fukushima disaster…or series of disasters. First, the earthquake that rattled Japan. Then, the devastating tsunami that claimed thousands of lives. Then, the international panic about radiation leaking from three nuclear reactors, whose housings had been shaken loose by the natural disasters, releasing radioactive material. Radiation levels across the country reached record highs. It is second only to the Chernobyl incident as the worst nuclear disaster in history.

In the three years that followed, another disaster is emerging out of these events: a rash of birth defects that may have their root in the intense radiation that Japan endured in the spring of 2011.

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Are There Birth Defect Warning Signs?

Many expectant mothers experience anxiety about the health of their unborn child, and they wonder fearfully about the possibility of a birth defect. For roughly three out of 100 pregnancies, those fears are realized in some way. One in a 100 suffers a major defect, such as cleft palate, mental disability or congenital heart defect.

Rather than worry incessantly about Happy mother with newborn babytheir baby’s odds of suffering from a birth defect, some expectant parents bury their heads in the sand, refusing to learn more or investigate the possibility. For many, the wondering ends in a sigh of relief with a healthy birth. For those who don’t, the heartache is deepened by wondering what might have happened if they had done more to prepare. Continue reading

Pool Chemicals and Your Health

As we enter Labor Day weekend, it’s probably the last time many of us will use our swimming pools for the year. It’s important that we keep safety in the front of our minds.

Of course, we mean the safety of swimmers – especially young children – but it goes deeper than that.

Did you know thousands of people are treated in an emergency room every year for injuries caused by pool chemicals?

As we head toward the colder part of the year and Washington residents begin to close up the pools in their backyards, here’s a lesson on pH levels and chlorine – and how they affect the safety of everyone who uses your pool.

photo (1)1.  Store chemicals safely.

This no-brainer tip could spare us most of the thousands of injuries every year caused by pool chemicals.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a wealth of tips on how to properly store these chemicals.

2.  Understand chlorine.
Simply put, chlorine is what keeps dangerous bacteria from thriving in your pool. Chlorine kills E. coli, hepatitis, giardia and other unwanted germs. To be effective, chlorine levels should stay between 1 to 3 parts per million, according to the CDC.

Check chlorine levels regularly, and be sure you understand how the correspond with the next item…

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CDC Says Northwest E. Coli Outbreak is Over

Washington health foodies can rest a little easier — the sprouts on your sandwich are now E. coli-free, according to the federal government.

Back in May, reports cropped up in Washington of E. coli poisoning from raw clover sprouts consumed at several popular restaurants. E. coli went on to infect a total of 19 people, 11 of them in Washington, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Earlier this month, the CDC said that the outbreak appears to be over. The agency pinpointed the source of the outbreak: an Idaho company named Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC. Continue reading

Fighting Back Against SSRI Manufacturers

Stories are piling up against the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor anti-depressants for treating anxiety and depression. From tragic tales of increased incidence of suicide to those trapped in a hopeless spiral into brain fog, lowered libido and poor quality of life, the use of SSRI antidepressants for many seems to only worsen the condition these drugs are meant to alleviate.

Fighter

Here at Perey Law, we are particularly well-acquainted with the link of SSRI drugs to an increased risk of birth defects. These kinds of drugs are associated with all kinds of defect affecting the heart, spine, skeleton and more. They are also linked to all kinds of conditions in growing children, from cleft palate to autism to suicidal behavior.

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Spotlight on: Birth Defect Research for Children

perey7_8_2The birth of a baby should be a joyful time full of wonder and amazement, welcoming a new life that has just emerged to grow, learn and take full advantage of all the world has to offer.

This is what all parents, whether new to the role or well-seasoned in raising children, look forward to with the birth of a baby. It’s this expectation that makes birth defects doubly tragic. Along with impairing a baby’s health, life expectancy and ability to thrive and achieve his or her potential, the occurrence of a birth defect sends hopeful new parents crashing to the ground.

Parents of babies born with birth defects can feel guilty, ashamed and anxious. Sometimes they struggle with feelings of responsibility, believing they ought to have been able to prevent it or somehow mitigate its result. Sometimes they have trouble bonding with their new child, and experience corresponding feelings of guilt. Nearly all of them feel deeply troubled for their child’s future, wondering where they can find help to guide them on this journey of raising a child with unexpected or unusual needs, or if there is any hope at all. Continue reading

Preventing Birth Defects: What You Can Do

It’s the last thing any expecting mother wants to hear: that the baby she’s been waiting for may not be as ready to meet the world as she expected.

Birth defects run the spectrum from minimal to critical. No matter what, they are always a source of concern, and often grief, for parents. What is even worse is the knowledge that these defects could possibly have been prevented. To do so requires a careful pregnancy.

perey7_8We at the Perey Law Group have represented a great number of cases dealing with preventable birth defects that have resulted by dangerous pharmaceutical drugs, medical negligence or other causes. Our experience has shown us certain patterns that can often lead to birth defects. In order to help prevent more parents from experiencing this tragedy, we offer a comprehensive resource on how to take care of yourself and do the utmost to ensure your baby is born healthy.

Here are some highlights: Continue reading

Officials Won’t Release Numbers of Birth Defect Cases in Yakima, Franklin and Benton Counties

Last September, a young Yakima mother named Andrea Jackman gave birth to a daughter named Olivia. But the baby’s entry into the world wasn’t the joyful occasion that a new mother expects. That’s because a few months into the pregnancy, Andrea was confronted with the news that her daughter’s brain and spine were not as closely connected as they should be. She had, in fact, the most severe form of spina bifida.

91584560Andrea wasn’t only heartbroken — she was blindsided. She’d had no idea her pregnancy might be liable for this condition. And it only got worse when the ultrasound doctor explained what it meant—that her daughter would be in a wheelchair all her life, most likely in a vegetative state.

Andrea is only one of an unprecedented number of mothers in Yakima, Franklin and Benton counties who have had babies with grave birth defects. And doctors are baffled by what might be causing it, NBC News reported. Continue reading