The American Heart Association (AHA) warns of this risk. i.e., the quick, thrusting neck movements some chiropractors and other health care professionals use to treat neck pain. The technique, known as cervical manipulative therapy, has been linked to cervical dissections in both younger people, according to an AHA statement. It is also seen in older patients who undergo cervical manipulative therapy.
Wrongful Prosecution Cases Lead to Settlement
According to reports, a major car rental company is settling a number of claims by customers who were falsely reported by the company as having stolen its vehicles, with some innocent renters arrested and jailed for weeks or longer over the false theft claims. According to the report, the company released a statment that it was settling 364 claims, which it said amounted to 95% of outstanding claims against it over the false theft reports. Based on these statistics, it appears that the company is involved in, our has been involved in before the settlement, almost 400 of these cases. The reports state that dozens of customers had shared stories on social media and television of being arrested, “swatted” or stopped at border crossings after the company incorrectly reported them to the authorities for stealing vehicles from its fleet of avaialable rental cars. In some of the most aggresious cases, it appears that the customer had paid for and properly returned the car that they rented weeks or months prior — or had never rented a car at all. While the settlement is noteworthy, it is not clear what caused this high number of falsely reported claims and in these types of cases, the facts are crucial. The settled cases do, however, highlight the liability that a company undertakes when it accuses someone of theft without maintinaing adequate safeguards in place and properly investigating the situation to make sure that the accusations are not false.
In Georgia, a company has a duty to properly investigate a case and to not negligently accuse someone of a theft. Many times, the allegations are made without any justification and result in an arrest of an innocent person, lengthy jail stays and other damages. False arrest, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment often occur when security for a store or other retail establishment improperly detains an individual, when they cause a person to be arrested without probable cause or they encourage prosecution of a person when the negligenctly (or sometimes with ill intent) when no probable cause exists absent false information that is given to the authorities. Unfortunately, we find that these cases often involve a security guard who has poor training, or who has a false sense of power, and decides to pursue an innocent individual. When this occurs, the person who was improperly detained, arrested or prosecuted has a claim for monetary damages against the store or retail establishment. These incidents can cause a victim emotional as well as physical trauma and many times, can lead to long, unjustited stays in jail.
For over 25 years, Attorney Robert J. Fleming has been handling premises negligence, medical malpractice and other personal injury lawsuits for individuals and families who have been injured or died as a result of the negligence in the Atlanta, Georgia area. He is a partner in the law firm of Katz Wright & Fleming, LLC and regularly handles cases in Atlanta as well as Alpharetta, Brookhaven, Chamblee, College Park, Duluth, Decatur, Doraville, Johns Creek, Jonesboro, Lawrenceville, Norcross, Peachtree City, Riverdale, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Stone Mountain, Smyrna, Peachtree City, and other cities in Georgia. He is committed to making a difference in his clients’ lives. If you or family member have been seriously injured or died as a result of premises negligence and would like quality legal representation or if you would just like to consult about a potential case, contact Robert J. Fleming directly on (404) 525-5150 or contact us online.
Dental Nerve Injury From Root Canal on Lower Molars
The primary goal of root canal treatment is to eliminate and prevent re-infection of the root canal system anatomy. In necrotic teeth, microorganisms can colonize anatomical complexities, such as isthmuses, ramifications and dentinal tubules and this causes infection and abcesses that are partially the reason why a root canal is performed. Instrumentation (dental files) can reduce the bacterial load by approximately 80%. However, the microorganisms cannot be completely eliminated with dental files alone as the file are very small but not small enought to get into every crevice of the roots of the tooth. sometime, in order to try and achieve this or simply due to inexperience or a lack of skill or knowledge, dentists over-instrument the canals, which is below the standard of care and often leads to catastrophic nerve injury.
After the canals are obturated (or cleaned out) the endodontist (or the general dentist if the patient has not been referred out to a root canal specialist: for the rest of this article we will refer to the practitioner performing the root canal as the “dentist” as both general dentists and endodontists are dentists) places sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) solution into the canals to clean and disinfect them. This is a strong solution which, due to its antimicrobial/antibiofilm activity, and organic tissue dissolution capacity is able to clean and disinfect the canals. It is placed into the canal by the dentist using a needle coupled to a syringe, a system known as conventional syringe irrigation (CSI). CSI has a rinsing effect, which is an important part of the irrigation process. Once again, due to inexperience, a lack of skill, or nelgigence, too much apical pressure by the dentist can lead to sodium hypochlorite extrusion outside of the tooth roots and, many times, into the dental nerve which lays just beyond the apex of the tooth being treated (if the tooth is a bottom molar).
False Arrest and Unsafe Premises Are Common Bases for Liability in Georgia
False arrest, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment often occur when security for a store or other retail establishment improperly detains an individual, when they cause a person to be arrested without probable cause or they encourage prosecution of a person when the negligenctly (or sometimes with ill intent) when no probable cause exists absent false information that is given to the authorities. Unfortunately, we find that these cases often involve a security guard who has poor training, or who has a false sense of power, and decides to pursue an innocent individual. When this occurs, the person who was improperly detained, arrested or prosecuted has a claim for monetary damages against the store or retail establishment. These incidents can cause a victim emotional as well as physical trauma and many times, can lead to long, unjustited stays in jail.
Georgia law makes abundantly clear that a property owner owes a duty to invitees to exercise ordinary care to keep its premises and approaches safe. Sometimes, however, an invitee is injured due to a condition on the owner’s premises created by the owner’s independent contractor. This does not necessarily relieve the property owner of liability, however. In other words, it provides an additional basis for liability, not an excuse for the propery owner to escape liability where it exists.
While it is true that an employer is generally not liable for the torts of its independent contractor, there are exceptions to this rule. One such exception exists where the independent contractor is performing the employer’s nondelegable statutory duty – and such a duty exists under OCGA § 51–3–1, referenced above. For example, in Kroger Co. v. Strickland, the Georgia Court of Appeals held that a business that hired an independent contractor to clean its floors could be held liable for the negligence of an independent subcontractor where the subcontractor’s negligence rendered the premises and approaches unsafe. There are a number of bases for holding the property owner or its agent liable for unsafe premises. These unsafe conditions can be static property defects or, ever increasingly, inadequate security that subjects guests such as store shoppers, hotel guests, or other types of invitees to a commercial establishment to unsafe conditions which causes physical injury and sometimes even death.
Georgia Dentists Have Duty to Protect Patient Airway
When a dental procedure is performed in Georgia, serious injuries can often result. However, one type of injury is completely preventable — swallowing (either whole or pieces that have broken off) dental instruments such as drill bits, root canal files, and teeth. Since the patient is most often lying prone in the dental chair and not cognizant of what is going on around them, it is encumbent upon the dentist to protect the airway so that nothing gets dropped down the patient’s throat, which could lead to dental instruments either being entrapped in the lungs, stomache or intestines.
“I was at the dentist getting a root canal, and the next thing I know I was told I swallowed a tool,” is a comment that I have heard in the past. “I didn’t really even feel it going down. All I felt was a slight cough. When they did the xray they realized, I swallowed it, and it is in my stomach,” is another sentiment that has been relayed to our office by dental patients who have swallowed dental instruments, sometimes without their knowledge. Often, once the dental instrument has made its way past the throat, it continues to work its way down the intestinal tract, or worse, can wind up deep in a lung.
Child Dies in Dental Chair Due to Suspected Malpractice
The news is shocking. A 4 year-old boy went to the dentist for what appears to be a fairly routine procedure and winds up dying. Obviously, his family and their lawyer want answers. This appears to be a senseless death and a lawsuit will be filed shortly, according to the malpractice attorney representing the deceased child and his family.
As an experienced dental malpractice attorney in Georgia, I am at a loss to explain this tragic result. While I do not have any information or reason to believe that these types of actions were involved in the above tragedy, I receive many calls from parents who complain that they are strong-armed into getting, what they later consider to be unnecessary dental treatment on their very young children. Often, they relay to me after the fact that they took their baby to a dentist ‘s office that specializes in children’s dentistry and are told that their child needs multiple fillings on baby teeth, that the child must be put under anesthesia to perform the fillings, AND that the procedure has already been started. Every parents worst nightmare. This is an atrocity that should not be tolerated, yet this is apparently standard operating procedure at some pediatric dental offices that specialize in children’s dental care and who prey on the poor and uninformed. To be sure, this is not done at every office, and some children’s dental offices practice in an ethical and professional manner, but, once again, others do not.
According to a preliminary report from the medical and dental records the child may have had inadequate oxygen during a dental procedure and, in turn, the lack of oxygen caused an irregular heart rhythm which led to no pulse. The pediatric dental office that was providing the dental care to the child performed CPR until EMT’s arrived and the child was transported to the hospital where he died later that evening. While this certainly addresses the immediate causes of death, other inquiries should be: (1) what was the overall health of the child; (2) did he actually need the procedures that were performed on him on the day that he died. Considering that these were baby teeth, was it really required that he have major dental procedure at this age?; (3) did the procedure in question, if they were medically necessary, require general anesthesia or could local anesthesia have been used?; (4) what protocols were in place at the dental office to make sure the proper anesthesia was used, the proper monitoring during anesthesia was performed and what was to be done if complications, such as those that occurred in this case, were encountered and were they followed in this case?.
Brothers Mauled by Dogs in Alpharetta
In another senseless dog attack in the Atlanta area, 2 brothers, aged 6 and 8 were mauled by a neighbor’s dangerous rottweilers. The dogs had gotten out of the owner’s yard, were on the loose, and snuck up on the little boys as they were riding their bikes in the neighborhood. Thankfully, the boys were saved by neighbors and are recuperating in the hospital. As a sad side note, one of the neighbors who saved the boys frantically called to a man passing by as the boys were being mauled and the passerby would not stop and help. As an Atlanta lawyer who regularly represents dog attack victims, I think that the worst attacks often involve 2 or more dogs that escape from their owner’s yard and roam the neighborhood until they attack a helpless child. This seems to be a common scenario– at least to me.
The boys were emergency-transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA) where they each received about 300 stitches to treat the bite wounds they sustained. The boys were torn apart from head to toe. Despite heroic efforts by neighbors, the dogs could not be pried off the boys and they almost killed them.
In Georgia, there are animal control laws and ordiances in place so that these types of situations are less likely to occur. In this particular dog bite case, the dogs owner was cited for violating local ordinances including having dogs at large and not having a valid county license for the dogs. In order to properly compensate victims of animal attacks causes by the negligence of (mostly, but not exlusively) dog owners, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover dog bite liability, unless they are specifically excluded from coverage. In this case, there appears to be available homeowner’s insurance, which would indicate that the dogs owner was a homeowner, and had valid insurance. The question here is: due to the extent of the boys’ injuries, will there be enough insurance proceeds to adequately compensate them for their injuries. Not only is a dog attack physcially punishing, the emotional toll is immense and, sometimes, can last a lifetime. In a case like this, the medical bills and other “hard” damages could easily exceed $500,000, not including the other damages mentioned above — such as pain and suffering, emotional damages, reduced ability to labor and work, etc. These damages add up quickly, and that is what ultimately fuels the value of the case.
Expert Testimony in Georgia Malpractice Cases
Experts serve an important role in Georgia medical malpractice and dental malpractice lawsuits. In malpractice cases, doctors an dentists and other experts are frequently asked to offer expert opinions regarding standard of care, causation and damages. The subject matter of their testimony often relates to the the injuries that the plaintiff complains of in the lawsuit, the medical and/or dental treatment rendered to Plaintiff and the resulting injuries, limitations and damages. The subject matter of the tyestiony also includes, in almost all cases, testimony addressing changes in Plaintiff’s quality of life and future needs for medical and dental care due to the injuries sustained as a result of the negligence of the defendant doctor or dentist.
Experts base their opinions on their training, education and experience in their fields of expertise, the medical and dental records relating to Plaintiff, their examinations and treatment of the Plaintiff (if they have, in fact, examined the Plaintiff either as a treating doctor, expert or during an independent medical examination “IME”), information disclosed during discovery (including depositions, interrogatories, requests for admissions and other pleading in the case) and the testimony of other witnesses who have have knowledge of facts of the case or any other types of information that experts typically rely upon in forming their opinions.
The facts on which the experts base their testimony include, but are not limited to, past medical history, histories taken of the patient by other medical and dental providers, history of chief complaints, physical examinations, medical records, hospital records, death certificates, autopsy reports, operative reports, results of diagnostic tests, therapeutic treatment plans, x-rays, CT Scans, MRI’s, other imaging studies, photographs, results of therapy and medication, either performed or prescribed by each of the experts or by others in the medical or dental profession that the testifying expert takes into account when rendering the opinion.
Additional Insurance Coverage Under Georgia Auto Policies Could Be Available in UM Situations
In order to properly evaluate any negligence case, Georgia lawyers will investigate what insurance coverage is applicable to the case and a lot of time, this involves excess coverage such as Uninsured Underinsured Motorist Coverage. As part of this process, att0rneys may look at the case of Georgia Farm Bureau Mut. Ins. Co. v. North, Nos. A11A0047 and A11A0134, 2011 WL 2716261 (Ga. Ct. App. July 14, 2011). Being sure to read the substitute opinion and not the original.
In this case, the Court notes, “Courts have held that there must be an offer of UM coverage and an insured must be given the option to reject such coverage, select minimum coverage, or select coverage up to the limits of liability under the policy. Georgia Interlocal Risk Mgmt. Agency v. Godfrey, 305 Ga. App. 130, 131 (2010) (citing O.C.G.A. § 33-7-11(a)(1), (3) & (b)(1) (D)(ii)).
Logically it follows that an insured cannot accept or reject UM coverage if there has been no offer from the insurer. Cases in Georgia have held that insurers are required to offer UM coverage in an amount equal to liability limits, but no cases in Georgia have addressed the fact that the natural consequence of the failure to offer is an insured‚s inability to make an affirmative choice of UM coverage.
Supreme Court of Georgia Judicial Order Lifts Stay on Dental Malpractice and Medical Malpractice Jury Trials
The ban due to the Covid-19 pandemic has been lifted and we should see some civil actions such as dental malpractice, medical malpractice and other personal injury type cases going to trial soon.
Chief Justice Harold D. Melton issued an order last night that lifts the suspension of jury trials in Georgia, “effective immediately.” With today’s order, which is the 12th he has signed extending the Statewide Judicial Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, trial courts may resume jury trials, “if that can be done safely and in accordance with a final jury trial plan developed in collaboration with the local committee of judicial system participants and incorporated into the court’s written operating guidelines for in-person proceedings.” Obviously, the onus is on “safety” and it is up to the judiciary, of which I and other members of the State Bar of Georgia, are a part of, to craft wasy that we can get back to conducting jury trials in a way that does not compromise the safety of the litgants, court staff, jurors, judges and attorneys.
Since the first announced Statewide Judicial Emergency on March 14, 2020 shortly after COVID-19 became prevalent in Georgia nearly a year ago, Georgia state and supeior courts have remained open, but jury trials were suspended due to the number of people required to gather at courthouses. There was a short repreive in October 2020, but then Chief Justice Melton was forced to re-implement the ban due to a significant increase in coronavirus cases.