Monthly Archives: February 2012

Federal Regulators Continue Push to Require Rearview Cameras in All Cars by 2014

I’ve written before, and expressed my approval of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s effort to require back-up cameras in all cars sold in the United States. Now NHTSA is back in the news because the agency is planning to send their final draft of that rule to Congress today. Whether Congress will have the […]

Hospitals Increasingly Under Pressure to Reduce Errors

The AP reports, “More than a dozen serious medical errors were reported at Middle Tennessee hospitals over the past three years – and federal statistics indicate probably 80 more were not reported.” Previously, “hospitals have been reluctant to admit mistakes, fearing malpractice lawsuits.” However, “hospitals are increasingly under pressure to reduce errors, and to do that, […]

Consumer Group Seeks Texas Insurance Data to Identify “Junk” Policies

I’ve written before about the decrease in coverage of “standard” insurance policies in Texas, and the blind eye turned to this practice by the state agency charged with oversight. An update on this story has been reported in the Dallas Morning News. Here are excerpts: A leading consumer group, trying to prove its argument that […]

Friday Fun

Here’s a funny commercial for Carlsberg beer:

Misconceptions Regarding Asbestos Ban in the U.S.

This guest post is from the New Jersey car accident law firm of Console & Hollawell. The recent report from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on the amount of asbestos consumption in 2011 may come as a surprise to some. What many fail to realize is that asbestos is not totally banned, but rather there are […]

NHTSA Proposes New Device Guidelines to Combat Distracted Driving

The New York Times reports that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration “formally urged carmakers on Thursday to stop equipping automobiles with entertainment and navigation systems that can distract drivers,” specifying that the proposed guidelines were not meant to stop the features, but rather make their designs safer. Transportation Secretary LaHood said, “The choice between ensuring […]

Study Finds High Levels of Arsenic in Some Baby Formulas and Cereal Bars

ABC World News reported on “surprisingly high levels of arsenic hiding in food, including brown rice, organic formula for toddlers.” It added that a new study reported online in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives “is causing a lot of confusion.” ABC News medical editor Richard Besser, MD, explained, “Dartmouth researchers tested baby formulas and found Baby’s […]

Understanding Premises Liability Injuries

Premises liability injuries can happen almost anywhere — from broken staircases that were never repaired to unmarked slippery floors. Hazardous situations that result in personal injury are normally the responsibility of the property owner. Property owners are required by law to maintain safe conditions for visitors to their premises. This includes warning visitors about dangerous […]

Friday Fun

I’ve never used a plain joke or a list like this for a Friday Fun post. But this was emailed to me by my 92-year-old mother, so I feel obligated. Plus, it’s funny. Puns for Educated Minds: 1. The fattest knight at King Arthur’s round table was Sir Cumference. He acquired his size from too […]

When Doctors Ditch Pens, Medical Errors Drop

Here’s a very interesting article from the Washington Post writer Ezra Klein on his WonkBlog. The gist is that when doctors use computerized systems to prescribe medication, the error rate drops by 60%. There’s a lot of interest in health care right now in digitizing doctors’ decision-making, using computer databases to assist in diagnoses and […]

Obama Could Alter Stance of Federal Appeals Courts

It has often been said the greatest power of the presidency, and the longest-lasting legacy of some presidents, is the ability to appoint federal court judges — especially the justices on the Supreme Court. The next president may have the chance to appoint more than one Supreme Court justice, as three of them will turn […]

Featured Link —

AdverseEvents is a new Web site that lists possible unwanted side-effects from taking medications. There is some very good information here for free, although to get more details you do have to subscribe to the site. Here is their description: Adverse Events, Inc. (AEI) is the only provider of up-to-the-minute, critical, potentially life-saving information regarding […]

U.S. Wants To Further Limit Medical Malpractice Lawsuits By Military Families

The Military Times reported the Supreme Court’s 1950 Feres decision has prevented active-duty troops from suing for injuries due to malpractice in military medical facilities, but now “government lawyers in Florida are seeking to expand that restriction to include the spouses and children of service members.” Jimmy German, an active-duty Navy mechanic, sued when the Jacksonville Naval […]

Friday Fun

I love stop-action photography when it’s done well, and Gravity is done very well.

How Doctors Can Reduce Medical Errors and Lawsuits

There have been a number of studies that show medical malpractice claims could be reduced if doctors and hospitals were more honest, and simply admitted errors and apologized to patients when they occur. One of the latest was reported in USAToday. Perhaps if enough of these studies are published doctors will take the hint. Here […]

Editor Says Tort-Reform Law Hasn’t Benefitted Texas

The managing editor of the Henderson (TX) Daily News wrote in commentary, “Texas may not have been the first state to welcome tort reforms but I can’t imagine anyone embracing it with such wild enthusiasm as Texans over the past 20 years or so.” He adds that in his failed presidential campaign, Gov. Rick Perry “perpetuated […]

Farmers Given OK To Raise Texas Homeowners Insurance Rates (Again)

I just wrote last week about the ridiculous situation in Texas regarding homeowners insurance policies and rates. And now, in a relentless effort to make Texas more “business-friendly” by ensuring that Texans continue to pay the highest premiums in the country, our Insurance Commissioner has approved another rate increase by Farmers. This increase is 10%. […]

Report: Decade-Long Review Shows Texas Supreme Court Is Activist, Ideological

I wrote last month about the Texas Supreme Court, and the fact that studies have revealed it to be business-friendly. Now the consumer group Texas Watch has issued a lengthy report detailing this bias by the Court in favor of businesses over consumers. Here are the details from Texas Watch: The Texas Supreme Court has […]

Friday Fun

Who’s on First — political edition:

What Is a “Junk” Homeowners Insurance Policy?

I’ve written recently about the sorry state of homeowners insurance in Texas. With laws favoring the insurance companies and with an insurance department that consistently sides with the carriers, homeowners don’t get much for their money — despite the fact  we always rank number one or number two for highest homeowner rates in the country. […]