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.

Continue reading

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.


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

Understanding Informed Consent

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. Continue reading

Real-Life Stories of Tragedy and Triumph

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. Continue reading

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…

Continue reading

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

Perey Law Group Files Lawsuit Against Sheriff’s Deputy and His Daughter After Crash

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.

Continue reading