Perey Law http://www.pereylaw.com Wed, 28 Jan 2015 02:53:33 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.1.5 Understanding The Meaning of Negligence http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/11/25/the-meaning-of-negligence/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/11/25/the-meaning-of-negligence/#comments Tue, 25 Nov 2014 19:46:47 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=4188 Continue reading ]]> 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.”

The Five Elements of Negligence

Cornell University’s Legal Information Institute defines negligence like this:

“A failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances.”

It goes on to outline five elements that are required to establish a case of legal negligence. They are:

  • The existence of a legal duty to exercise reasonable care
  • A failure to exercise reasonable care
  • Physical harm caused by the negligent conduct
  • Physical harm in the form of actual damages
  • Proximate cause, a showing that the harm is within the scope of liability

In the case of Liebeck v. McDonald’s, a recent documentary revealed that it was not simply a matter of a greedy woman manipulating the legal system. The restaurant was habitually heating their coffee to excessive, unsafe temperatures to provide customers with piping hot beverages. Ms. Liebeck, however, had no idea that the drink she was holding was at a temperature that could scald her. When a sudden movement within her car caused her to spill the coffee, she found this out the hard way.

The injury left permanent scars on her legs. An elderly woman, Liebeck recounts the abuse she endured from popular opinion while trying to receive compensation for the medical care of her burn wounds, which were the fault of a store overstepping food preparation procedures and not being mindful of customer safety.

Every State is Different

It’s important to know when pursuing a case regarding negligence that states award damages differently. The state of Washington recognizes the Pure Comparative Fault Rule, which allows a damaged party to “recover” even when partially responsible for the incident. The recovery is awarded in proportion to the damaged party’s degree of fault — meaning that if the plaintiff was 15 percent responsible, he or she could only be awarded 85 percent of the total value determined.

businessman blamingUnderstanding different joint and several liability laws, as well as different comparative fault rules, is critical to evaluating and pursuing cases of negligence. What’s more: there are many exceptions within each state with regard to whether the particular fault allocation is applicable to a particular cause of action.

About Perey Law Group

If you feel you are the victim of negligence — whether within a professional setting, a business or outside environment, or within your own home — the legal team at Perey Law Group is ready to help you determine your rights and fight for the compensation you deserve. Call us at 206.443.7600 or fill out the form on the right side of this page.

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Community Rallies Behind Traffic Tweeter After Tragedyhttp://www.pereylaw.com/2014/11/13/traffic-tweeter/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/11/13/traffic-tweeter/#comments Thu, 13 Nov 2014 21:01:31 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=4138 Continue reading ]]> 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.

A Fateful Afternoon

“[I] hate that section of I205 S,” she tweeted. “[T]oo many on ramps, speeders and too few lanes.” She then advised her Twitter followers to move over for emergency responders and give them room to reach the scene.

The Columbian Metrodesk account continued to relay information about the accident and the resulting pileup: emergency responders were putting a Life Flight helicopter on standby, state police confirmed that there were at least three vehicles involved, with two people trapped in the wreckage. One lane of the highway was closed, and the state police were about to block off the freeway entirely in order to make room for the helicopter.

Johnson responded, “This accident sounds horrible.”

At 3:05 p.m., Columbian Metrodesk curtly announced that there had been one fatality.

As the Washington State Patrol Twitter account confirmed this report, Johnson continued to comment. But, after a few minutes, her tweets took on a more somber tone.

‘It’s Him. He Died’

pereyblog1“I’m trying not to panic, but my husband left work early and he drives 205 to get home. [H]e’s not answering his phone.”

Johnson solicited the State Police and Metrodesk Twitter accounts for descriptions of the vehicles involved in the crash, but got no response. She continued to feed out increasingly worried updates:

“i’m a basketcase”

“I just called his work and he was feeling faint when he left work. #panic

“i just called 911 and they transferred me after I gave them his license number and told me that they will call me back. wtf?”

Johnson’s Twitter followers did their best to console her, offering reassurances and doing their best to track down the answers to her questions. At one point, another Twitter user sent Johnson a photo of the accident site.

To this, Johnson responded, “thank you. i’m freaking out now.”

Less than an hour after her initial notice of the accident, at 4:50 p.m., Johnson sent out the following:

“it’s him. he died.”

An Outpouring of Support

The strange and tragic story sparked interest well beyond the community of Vancouver. News organizations as far away as the New York Daily News, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the London Mirror reported on the story with sensational headlines like “Woman unwittingly live-tweets husband’s death.”

The Twittersphere was more sensitive. Her followers extended their prayers and sympathy to her for days following the accident, and even organized an online fundraiser to help with funeral costs and provide ongoing support for the family. In an update two days after the crash, the organizer reported on the fundraiser page:

“I spoke with [Johnson] earlier and she is simply overwhelmed and in awe at the support she and the kids have received. NONE of it was expected, in fact, she said we were at over $3000 before she even knew what was happening here.”

In the midst of intrusive calls continuing from the worldwide media, the local news reported on the incident this way:

“What happened to Johnson is a reminder to anyone who makes their living off the fact that bad things happen to good people. The fact that on any given moment the tragedy I’m covering could involve someone I know fuels my compassion. I want to make sure that I am doing what I can to treat people the way I would want my family treated. Let’s all let her know that we are here for her; that she is not alone.”

Who We Are

Here at Perey Law, we are experienced in providing skilled and compassionate legal counsel to victims of car accidents and other personal injury matters in Washington. Contact us at (206) 443-7600 for a free, no-obligation case review, or fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page.

 

image credit: The Colombian

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Is Japan Withholding Fukushima Birth Defect Data?http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/10/29/long-term-effects-fukushima/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/10/29/long-term-effects-fukushima/#comments Wed, 29 Oct 2014 18:30:38 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=4087 Continue reading ]]> 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.

A Spike in Birth Defects?pereyblog

Since 1999, Japan’s Yokohoma City University has been compiling statistics on birth defects. They release their yearly statistics in May. This year, however, they did not publish the data. Repeated requests finally resulted in the data being released to the news site The Daily Beast. It is still unavailable directly to the public.

According to The Daily Beast:

“The 2011 Report on Congenital Malformations notes the prevalence of malformed infants as 2.43 percent, the highest figure since 1999 (1.48 percent). However, the figures for 2010 were 2.31 percent, indicating only a small increase between 2010 and 2011.”

Dr. Fumiki Hirahira, who is in charge of the data collection, said there was “no meaningful increase” in birth defects. But other experts disagree with him, and call into question the university’s unwillingness to break down the annual data by month and prefecture. This breakdown would over the most detailed look into whether birth defects spiked in the places most affected at the times most affected.

The matter is not just of concern to Japan. The scare about Japanese radiation was felt around the world, and today, parents and physicians in all countries are wondering about the long-term risks.

Shrouded in Secrecy

Alexey Y. Yablokov, who wrote extensively on the long-term effects of Chernobyl’s nuclear crisis, opines that:

“The Japanese government is not trustworthy when it comes to releasing information about Fukushima. … A real national comparative study needs to be conducted.”

The Daily Beast detailed Japan’s history of censoring and withholding negative information, especially the kind that has links to health damage caused by irresponsible corporations or government entities. In the 1950s and 60s, for example, the government worked with corporations guilty of mercury pollution to minimize evidence showing the cause and range of the illness. In the 1980s, similar coverups took place regarded HIV-tainted blood; in the 1990s, it had to do with Dioxin contamination. The reason, of course, is fear of economic impact to the country’s major corporations.

iStock_000013805464_LargeIn the immediate wake of the nuclear disaster, the Japanese government’s response was the opposite of careful. Rather than evacuate the area or issue warnings, the government raised the radiation limits for exposure at schools near the plant to 20 millisieverts. The response of one government official was telling: the man, a senior nuclear adviser resigned his position in protest, saying the level was 20 times too high, especially for children.

Despite this assertive move from one of their own, however, the Japanese government still has yet to as much as release sufficient data to study the impact of radiation on the next generation—both their own, and those around the world.

About Perey Law Group

If your health, or the health of someone you love, has been impacted by an environmental disaster, contact the Perey Law Group. We have years of experience helping people in Washington obtain justice in cases of environmental hazards. Call us at 206.443.7600 or fill out the form on the right side of this page.

 

image credit: The Daily Beast
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Was Joan Rivers a Victim of Medical Malpractice?http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/10/15/joan-rivers-medical-malpractice/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/10/15/joan-rivers-medical-malpractice/#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 18:35:32 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=3888 Continue reading ]]> 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.

——

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.

funeral-joan-riversJoan’s daughter, Melissa Rivers, has decided to file a medical malpractice suit against the facility. If successful, the suit could be worth millions of dollars.

Many questions remain unanswered. An endoscopic procedure to view the vocal cords would typically use a rigid laryngoscopy or flexible laryngoscopy, which allows the physician to view and video the patient’s anatomy. Typically, the doctor uses a topical anesthetic to prevent gagging and sneezing. A similar microsurgery involving a laser for vocal cord cancer is used by modern doctors. These procedures should not be life-threatening.

Did this happen as the result of medical malpractice? Questions we would ask first are:

  • Was her airway cutoff by an improper procedure?
  • Was the anesthesia administered properly?
  • Was supplemental oxygen used, and was she deprived of it at any time?
  • Is it possible she had an unrelated cardiac event?
  • If she did have a cardiac event, were appropriate procedures followed?

Time Will Tell

Seeking justice is a diligent process. The Perey Law Group has been handling medical malpractice cases for decades. In each case, a thorough investigation is required to determine if the case has merit. We start with obtaining and closely reviewing the medical records. Details and data are present in these records that are often meaningless to, or overlooked by, the untrained eye.

It now appears the courts will settle the question of whether the death of Joan Rivers can be blamed on medical negligence. It will likely be some time before the full details are revealed and the case comes to a close.

image credit: NY Daily News
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Understanding Informed Consenthttp://www.pereylaw.com/2014/10/14/understanding-informed-consent/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/10/14/understanding-informed-consent/#comments Tue, 14 Oct 2014 22:13:49 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=3879 Continue reading ]]> Our country is founded on the importance of allowing individuals to make decisions for themselves. When it comes to your health, this principle should be no different.

doctors talking with patientHowever, the issue becomes more thorny in certain health cases. Victims of traumatic brain injuries, for example, are sometimes rendered incapable of response for weeks or months. In many cases, the elderly suffer a precipitous slide into dementia, which leaves a formerly capable person helpless to understand important issues about his or her health.

The fact is that, while we all recognize the importance of having a contingency plan for our health care, most injuries come in unexpected forms at unexpected times.

At the Perey Law Group, we have decades of experience representing victims in a variety of medical cases. One type of case we encounter is the malpractice case resulting from a lack of informed consent.

The Definition

Although the specific definition of informed consent may vary from state to state, informed consent essentially means that the patient has made a knowing, intentional decision about a medical treatment or procedure after being provided all the information a reasonably prudent medical practitioner would give to a patient regarding potential risks. In many situations where medical care or treatment is provided to an individual, medical professionals are required to obtain the patient’s “informed consent.”

informed consent The tricky part, of course, is distinguishing between “express” or “implied” consent. Express consent is given in writing or verbally. Consent not given by a patient in writing or verbally, but understood from the circumstances surrounding the procedure or treatment at issue, is known as “implied” consent.

In addition, there is the matter of surrogate consent, where a patient is deemed incompetent of making the decision for themselves. While the state of Washington and federal authorities recognize an incompetent individual’s right to autonomy and self-determination, some situations call for a surrogate decision-maker to use the doctrine of “substituted judgment,” as it’s known in the Washington State Hospital Association, to accept or refuse healthcare on behalf of an incompetent individual.

When a Doctor Can Override Consent

In certain situations, doctors may choose to override consent. Those situations include:

Emergency Situations

Sometimes, there is no time to obtain a patient’s informed consent. The patient may be unconscious or unable to communicate. If the patient’s life is at risk or the patient is unable to communicate, a doctor may decide to go ahead with a procedure without express content.

Significant Risks

If the patient might suffer significant emotional or physical harm from being fully informed about the procedure, the doctor may be within his rights to go ahead without informed consent.

Compulsory Tests

Consent from the patient is not required in situations where a patient must submit to a test or treatment; for example, in situations of mental health problems or communicable disease.

However, these special cases are the exception, not the rule. The fact remains that patients are entitled to complete information about treatments or procedures they will undergo. And in many cases we have handled, patients have found their long-term health compromised by a doctor’s negligence in fully informing them about a procedure or treatment, or failure to diagnose a condition accurately.

Bottom line: failure to provide information can subject the health care providers to legal liability.

We Have a Doctor on Staff

At Perey Law, we retain medical professionals on our staff, in addition to our team of lawyers. Our mission is to help our clients get their cases quickly moving toward resolution, with the goal of getting them the resources they need for a real solution to their needs. We have been handing medical malpractice cases for more than 40 years.

You can learn more about understanding informed consent at our web page. Call us at 206-443-7600 for help with your case, or fill out the form on the right-hand side of this page.

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Real-Life Stories of Tragedy and Triumphhttp://www.pereylaw.com/2014/09/22/real-life-stories-tragedy-triumph/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/09/22/real-life-stories-tragedy-triumph/#comments Mon, 22 Sep 2014 19:07:23 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=3856 Continue reading ]]> Family walking on the beachAt Perey Law, our proudest moments come when we see a client’s patience and perseverance rewarded with justice. In cases of birth injury and resulting defects, however, this pride comes with profound sorrow.

Despite the sorrow, it is still a tremendous privilege to stand by these brave clients and help them fight for the resources to recover and move forward with their lives.

On our Verdicts page, you can read about the successful cases we have fought on behalf of our clients. Here are just a few.

Victories for Suffering Families

  1. In the midst of a fairly routine labor, the baby’s heart rate began to have recurrent decelerations indicative of intermittent cord compression. The doctor and nurse were aware of these decelerations, but did not inform the family. Even though the baby was no longer descending the birth canal, no effort was made to expedite the delivery — even when the exhausted mother requested a C-section.
    After 3-1/2 hours of persistent, worsening heart rate decelerations, the baby’s heart rate no longer returned to the normal range. The doctor returned to the delivery room and moved the mother to the operating room, but instead of performing an immediate Caesarian section, he wasted valuable time making a couple of attempts at vacuum extraction, which failed. By the time the baby was finally delivered by emergency C-section, he was blue, limp and lifeless. He was resuscitated, but had suffered profound and permanent brain damage, leaving him unable to walk, talk or enjoy life as he should have if his birth had been appropriately managed.
    The $8 million settlement obtained by Perey Law Group allowed him to live at home, purchase a handicap-equipped van and obtain necessary health care.
  2. mother and babyA 19-year-old mother gave birth to a baby who sustained severe brain damage at birth due to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy related to a botched delivery by an inexperienced first-year family practice resident physician. The first-year resident was an employee at a large urban hospital that operates a residency program for prospective family practice physicians, and was subject to continuing oversight by board-certified family-practice physicians.
    However, the first-year resident failed to inform the attending doctor about the difficult birth—including the fetal heart rate monitor’s indication that the baby was suffering from lack of oxygen. Shockingly, a full neonatal resuscitation team was not present at the time of delivery. In consequence, not only was the necessary Cesarean section not performed, but the baby was not intubated until 4 minutes of life. The attending doctor was not present for the birth.
    Because of the medical malpractice, the baby suffered catastrophic brain damage, the direct result of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy and developmental delay.
    Perey Law Group obtained $3.2 million on behalf of the mother, to help with ongoing medical care.
  3. An expectant mother’s physician throughout the pregnancy inserted an intra-uterine pressure catheter and began amnio-infusions (pushing saline into the uterus in attempts to dilute the particulate meconium which places the baby at risk for aspiration). However, the hospital nurses did not monitor the amnio-infusions nor make attempts to improve the fetal heart rate by changing maternal position, providing oxygen, or giving IV fluids. As the labor progressed, the fetal heart rate monitor showed worsening deep decelerations that persisted through the second (pushing) stage of labor and variability was lost, but the parents were never informed of the non-reassuring fetal information. The defendant doctor did not make any efforts to expedite delivery or convert to a C-section. The result was a baby boy born with birth asphyxia, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (brain injury due to lack of oxygenated blood) and spastic quadriparesis with athetoid features, cerebral palsy (weakness and incoordination of the limbs) and catastrophic brain damage.
    Perey Law Group helped this family win $2.5 million in damages against the defendant doctor and hospital.

Need Help?

If you have suffered from the negligence of a hospital or physician, contact the Perey Law Group today by calling (206) 443-7600 or by filling out the form on this page. We can help you understand your rights and are ready to fight on your behalf, to help you move forward from tragedy.

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Are There Birth Defect Warning Signs?http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/09/08/birth-defect-warning-signs/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/09/08/birth-defect-warning-signs/#comments Mon, 08 Sep 2014 18:17:46 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=3842 Continue reading ]]> 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.

What You Should Know

Here at Perey Law, we’ve seen parents who harbor this regret of not having prepared for the possibility of birth defect in their child. The following is some of the advice we’ve collected from these parents, and from doctors and from other experts, about how and when to tell if your child might be at risk for birth defect:

  • Most defects are present within the first three months of pregnancy. This is the time when organs are forming.
  • Infections or diseases contracted during pregnancy should immediately be addressed with a doctor. These kinds of health problems, while easily treatable in an adult, can have disastrous consequences for a baby’s development in the womb.
  • Some otherwise safe medications and vaccines can cause serious birth defects when taken by pregnant women. Talk to your doctor about any medications (including over-the-counter drugs and supplements) you may be taking, and which vaccines are necessary.
  • Know that prenatal screenings have been known to falsely identify defects, and some defects may go undetected.
  • Prenatal anatomy ultrasounds may diagnose certain birth defects in utero. More in-depth screening options such as blood tests and amniocentesis (taking a sample of the amniotic fluid) may be offered to pregnant women who have higher-risk pregnancies due to family history, advanced maternal age or other factors.
  • Treatment options vary by type of defect and level of severity. Some birth defects can be corrected prior to birth or shortly thereafter. Other defects may affect a child for his or her entire life.

There are no definite, telltale pregnancy symptoms that indicate the presence of birth defect. But there are many preventative measures that an expectant mother can take to protect her baby against the risk.

pregnant expecting mother black and whiteWomen who anticipate becoming pregnant should start taking folic acid supplements prior to conception and continue taking a physician-recommended dose as part of a prenatal vitamin throughout pregnancy. Folic acid can prevent serious defects of the spine and brain as well as some other types of birth defects. Maintaining a healthy weight helps reduce risk of complications during pregnancy, and women with pre-existing conditions, such as diabetes, should take special care to manage their health. And, obviously, women should avoid alcohol, drugs and tobacco during pregnancy.

Some Parting Thoughts

Finally, here are the reassuring words that one expectant mother shared in a online forum about how to handle fears in the midst of getting tested to check on the health of your unborn child:

  1. It is just a screening. Your chances are very good that everything really is fine. There are many people with figures as frightening as 1:2 and their babies are fine too. Get on the message boards and check out just how many! There are lots of false positives.
  2. If you are close to 35 or over, the AFP is very hard to nearly impossible to “pass” as age is calculated into your results.
  3. If you do decide to have amnio spend the extra money (approx. 300.00) if you can and elect to have the FISH testing as well. FISH testing isolates specific chromosomes (the ones associated with downs) while amnio analyzes all. FISH testing results are available in approximately 48 hours.

Who We Are

Contact Perey Law today at (206) 443-7600 if you think a doctor’s error or a medication you took may have caused a congenital defect in your child. We can help you understand your options for seeking justice to ensure the best possible future for your child.

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Pool Chemicals and Your Healthhttp://www.pereylaw.com/2014/08/29/pool-chemicals/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/08/29/pool-chemicals/#comments Fri, 29 Aug 2014 23:20:26 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=3831 Continue reading ]]> 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…

3.  Check pH levels.

You should check pH levels weekly while your pool is open. The pH level directly influences the ability of chlorine to kill off the germs that can cause harm.

The safest pH range for a swimming pool is between 7.2 and 7.8, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This is roughly the same pH level as our bodies.

A pH level too high or too low will decrease the effectiveness of chlorine. This leaves the pool susceptible to building up bacteria. Also, a pH level substantially different from that of a swimmer will cause skin and eye irritation.

Check out the CDC’s fact sheet for more on chlorine, pH levels and the relationship between both.

Stay Safe

Young children are the most vulnerable around pools. The statistics are staggering, and you can find them in this infographic we’ve offered to Washington residents. You’ll also find some useful safety tips there, too.

Stay safe this Labor Day weekend.

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CDC Says Northwest E. Coli Outbreak is Overhttp://www.pereylaw.com/2014/08/27/e-coli-outbreak/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/08/27/e-coli-outbreak/#comments Wed, 27 Aug 2014 19:47:49 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=3815 Continue reading ]]> 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.

CDC: E. Coli Risks Remain

Patients affected by E. coli complain of abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting and many other effects. The CDC offers a wealth of information on the effects of these bacteria.

iStock_000008493122_LargeWhile symptoms start with mild stomach pain, E. coli poisoning can sometimes result in severe, life-threatening illness and even death. According to the CDC, 44% of those infected in the recent outbreak were hospitalized. Fortunately, no one died.

While the sudden outbreak of disease comes as a shock to those who thought they were ordering an extra healthy lunch, it is no surprise to Seattle-based food safety advocate and attorney Bill Marler. He has dealt with multiple cases of food poisoning by contaminated sprouts at the chain sandwich shop Jimmy John’s — one of the chain restaurants reportedly linked to the newest outbreak. The first case he remembers took place in 2008, with others following in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

Marker wrote in the Food Poison Journal:

“While Jimmy John’s pulled sprouts from their menu after each outbreak they eventually resumed serving them to customers.”

Like many other restaurants, Jimmy John’s is supplied by Evergreen Fresh Sprouts, LLC.

Advocates for Safety

At the Perey Law Group, we’ve seen our share of personal injury cases over the years. Our job requires us to be advocates for the safety of ordinary people — like those who simply walk into a shop for a sandwich.  

Contact us today at (206) 443-7600 for a free, no-obligation consultation to learn more.

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Perey Law Group Files Lawsuit Against Sheriff’s Deputy and His Daughter After Crashhttp://www.pereylaw.com/2014/08/14/sheriff-deputy-daughter-lawsuit/ http://www.pereylaw.com/2014/08/14/sheriff-deputy-daughter-lawsuit/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 23:41:28 +0000 http://www.pereylaw.com/?p=3737 Continue reading ]]> The Perey Law Group filed a lawsuit today against a 22-year-old woman who seriously injured a man last November when she drove the wrong way on I-5. The driver, Vallen Brewer, was intoxicated and talking via Bluetooth at the time.

She is the daughter of a King County deputy sheriff who has spoken publicly about the case. The lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court.

Attorney Doug Weinmaster said the lawsuit was filed because the Brewer family’s insurance company, Safeco, refused to negotiate with the firm to settle the issue.

“We expected Safeco to step up and protect the Brewer family,” Weinmaster said. “Our client faces a lifetime dealing with a traumatic brain injury. Safeco gave us no choice but to seek justice for him from the members of a jury.”

“We believe liability is so clear in this case that we were surprised when Safeco would not even start negotiations with us,” said attorney Ron Perey, who leads the Perey Law Group.

The woman’s father, Tim Brewer, and his family are also named as defendants in the lawsuit under a legal theory called the “family car doctrine,” which allows parents to be held accountable for a child’s negligent driving in some circumstances.

About Us

Based in Seattle, the Perey Law Group has been representing injured Washington residents for more than 30 years. This case is just the latest example of our strides for justice on behalf of our clients.

Video credit: KOMO News

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