Was Joan Rivers a Victim of Medical Malpractice?

UPDATE: On Thursday, a report from the medical examiner listed Joan Rivers’ cause of death as “therapeutic complications,” specifically spasms in her vocal cords during the procedure that blocked her airway. She subsequently went into cardiac arrest. It is still unclear whether Rivers consented to the procedure that ultimately led to her death, CNN reported.

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people-joanriversWhether you were a fan or not, everyone who watched would agree that Joan Rivers looked a healthy 81-year-old as she wielded her sharp-witted comic criticisms recently on E!’s program Fashion Police. She grabbed social media attention walking out of interviews, promoting a new book and appearing on David Letterman’s show. E! described her as lively and “sharp as she’s ever been.”

News spread fast that Joan Rivers suffered cardiac arrest on Aug. 28 during a minor throat procedure and was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where she died on Sept. 4.

What Happened?

Subsequent news reports claim that doctors performed an unscheduled biopsy on Rivers during an endoscopy procedure. There are allegations that the procedure was not supposed to be performed at that facility. Further casting the medical staff in a potentially bad light are reports that a doctor took a “selfie” with an unconscious Rivers shortly before the procedure that killed her. The doctor in question has denied these claims. Continue reading

Construction Moratorium Proposed and Rejected in Mudslide Area

The mudslide on March 22 shocked Washington and the nation with its sudden devastation. But as area residents know all too well, it was hardly an isolated case.

Western Washington’s damp oceanic climate creates the perfect topographical conditions for landslide. While not every slide results in a staggering number of casualties like the most recent one in Snohomish County, they typically leave heartbreaking destruction in their wake.

Attorney Ron Perey, of the Perey Law Firm, has heard several such stories from mudslide victims in the past. For victims like these, he says there is a consistent need for specific information on the day-to-day risks posed by the area’s unique topography. He said recently that residents must rely on the government’s scientists to make the right decisions about this “hyper-specific” area of science. Continue reading

‘Genuinely Frightening’ New Painkiller is Approved

The shock felt after the FDA’s recent approval of the new pain medication Zohydro wasn’t limited to advocacy groups and addiction treatment specialists. Even those on the FDA advisory committee were startled by it, considering that they had voted 11-to-2 against approval of the drug.

As much as 10 times more powerful than other painkiller in its class, Zohydro is not messing around.

‘It Will Kill People As Soon As It’s Released’

Zohydro was developed by pharmaceutical giant Zogenix. One capsule of the painkiller packs enough hydrocodone to kill a child, a doctor wrote recently in the Huffington Post. If taken by an adult unaccustomed to opioids, the medication could result in death.

158362155“It’s a whopping dose of hydrocodone packed in an easy-to-crush capsule,” said Dr. Andrew Kolodny, chief medical officer at Phoenix House, an addiction treatment center. “It will kill people as soon as it’s released.” Continue reading

Simple Changes Can Help Prevent Stroke

Today, Oct. 29, is World Stroke Day. As part of its awareness campaign, the American Stroke Association is reminding people that they can and should be aware of how to identify stroke, and they’ve offered an acronym to help. All you need to learn is the word “FAST”:

  • 164072293Face drooping
  • Arm weakness
  • Speech difficulty
  • Time to call 911

Being able to identify stroke is critical. But preventing stroke is even better. There are many factors that increase your risk of stroke, including smoking, high blood pressure, medications and more. Being familiar with those risk factors is very important.

Beyond that, though, adding these 4 things to your life can help to reduce your risk of stroke: Continue reading

$35 Million Verdict Awarded to Victims of Shoreline Dentist

In 2012, a Shoreline dentist was taken to court for malpractice and on Wednesday, July 17, 2013, the verdict was given. Henri Duyzend, Shoreline dentist since 1977, was found guilty of negligence, failure to obtain informed consent, fraud and the violation of the Washington Consumer Protection Act. The award, to be shared between 29 former patients, is one of the largest in state history for dental negligence: $35 million. Continue reading

Was Washington Bridge Collapse a Terrible Accident or Trucking Company Negligence?

Dan Sligh and his wife, Sally, were driving along the I-5 in Washington heading for a Memorial Day weekend camping trip when, all of a sudden, the roadway disappeared in front of them. The bridge across the Skagit River collapsed after an over-sized truck hit the steel tresses. Three cars, including the Sligh’s, ended up in the river 25 feet below. Fortunately — and amazingly, considering the distance and the icy waters — no one was killed, and only minor injuries were sustained by the unlucky motorists.

The collapse of the I-5 bridge brings up several questions about the safety of bridges across the nation. Another pressing question: Who was responsible for the accident in the first place? Continue reading

Spokane Woman Gets Second Chance, Finally Gets Compensated

The doctor said “terminal cancer” when, in reality, Spokane resident Darlene Turner had pneumonia. The pneumonia later caused her to fall into a coma, and she had to have her foot amputated. This may seem like a cut-and-dry case of medical malpractice, but the first time it went to trial, the jury decided in favor of the physician, The Spokesman-Review reported last week.

How could that happen? Continue reading

Five Things You Should Know About Washington’s New Marijuana Law

Following the approval of Initiative 502 at the polls last year, it became legal on Dec. 6, 2012 for a person to possess up to one ounce of marijuana for personal use in the state of Washington. While this makes Washington (along with Colorado, where a similar measure also passed) very progressive in terms of marijuana laws, it doesn’t allow a free-for-all. As Colorado’s governor expressed it after the vote: “Don’t break out the Cheetos or the Goldfish too quickly.”

As Washington’s law is slowly rolled out in 2013, the Perey Law Group brings you five important things you should know about it: Continue reading