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New City Personal Injury Law Blog

Increased work dangers for Hollywood employees

New York residents may be interested in learning that being a Hollywood actor or movie set employee may be a surprisingly dangerous profession. A report by OSHA claims that work-related accidents for Hollywood employees have increased in recent years.

Despite the high number of successful films from large studios, the industry is filled with more smaller studios with much tighter production budgets. This money crunch has led many studios to skimp on basic safety precautions and other legal responsibilities that protect their employees while on the set. Many movies are shot in relatively dangerous or high-risk locations. A failure to properly prepare the location for shooting can result in avoidable accidents that injure or even kill employees.

Patients injured by misdiagnosis of cellulitis

Many New York residents who have been told that they have cellulitis might have been misdiagnosed, according to a study. Researchers from several hospitals including Massachusetts General Hospital found that more than 30 percent of cellulitis diagnoses are incorrect. The misdiagnoses result in unnecessary hospitalizations and antibiotic prescriptions.

Cellulitis is a fairly common bacterial skin infection that can be very serious in some cases. People contract cellulitis when they have a wound or a skin irritation that becomes infected by bacteria. The most serious cases of cellulitis involve potentially deadly superbugs like methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. While cellulitis can be life-threatening, the misdiagnosis of cellulitis also poses a health risk to patients.

Medical errors in breast cancer diagnosis

Breast cancer is a serious disease that affects many women in New York and across the United States. Doctors agree that an early diagnosis is one of the most important factors in long-term survival. A delay in diagnosis by as little as three months puts most women in the significantly lower survival rate category of less than five years.

Most women are familiar with the common way breast cancer is identified. A lump on the breast is one of the most obvious signs, and it is something that most women and doctors look for regularly. A British study, however, shows that there many be many other signs of breast cancer that do not include a lump. These signs usually consist of other abnormalities such as pain in the breast and nipple or skin abnormalities. A small percentage of women in the study displayed signs that were not easily attributed to the breast, such as a lump under the armpit or general pain, dizziness or breathlessness.

Nursing errors and malpractice

When people in New York enter a hospital, nursing home or rehab center, they are counting on the competency of the health care professionals who care for them. When these professionals are negligent or make a mistake, the consequences can be dire. Patients have lost their lives, independence, and their careers due to a medical or nursing error.

When people hear the word "malpractice," they often think of malpractice by physicians. While this is certainly a concern, nurses can also play a role in malpractice injuries. This can be particularly true of new nurses who are inexperienced and perhaps not properly supervised as they care for their patients.

Challenges associated with rare diseases

New York residents suffering from a rare disease could spend years seeking answers from health care providers. Rare diseases present patients and their families with diagnostic difficulties because there tends to be limited information about the conditions. Per the National Institutes of Health, a disease fits the definition of being rare if it is identified in less than one person out of 200,000 in the U.S.

At least half of the 30,000 U.S. residents diagnosed with one of the 7,000 identified rare diseases are children. However, it is probable that there are numerous people who have not yet been diagnosed. One of the greatest challenges is the fact that there could be different manifestations of a rare disease for different patients. Symptoms shared by different diseases could create further confusion during diagnostic efforts. There may be a need to be examined and tested by the right specialist.

What premises liability means for homeowners

New York homeowners might want to be aware of laws governing premises liability before they invite their next house guests over. In general, they are responsible for the safety of their invited guests, and even some who may not have been invited, at all times.

When people are injured on someone else's property, they have the right to seek compensation through the homeowner's insurance policy as long as they had a legal right to be on the property at the time the injury occurred. This means that they were either an invited guest or allowed onto the premises for some other reason, such as a delivery person or a repairman.

The misdiagnosis of Lyme disease

Many New Yorkers are treated for Lyme disease each year. Some of them do not even require such treatment because their condition has been misdiagnosed. This can result in patients paying for medical care they do not need, while at the same time not being able to obtain the treatment they actually require.

The two main ways that are used to check for Lyme disease are a blood test and a Western blot test. A positive result on either of these tests merely indicates that an individual has been exposed to Lyme disease at some point or another. Even if a person has recovered from the disease or the exposure was a long time ago, he or she may still test positive. Further testing and evaluation is needed to determine if a patient's symptoms are due to Lyme disease or are stemming from another condition altogether.

Common dangers New York construction workers face

On Aug. 1, an OSHA rule went into effect increasing the maximum penalty for a serious violation to $12,741. The penalty for a willful or repeated violations increased to $124,709, and the increases were part of an effort to make sure that they went up along with the cost of living. According to OSHA, the most common type of health and safety violations since 2012 are nearly identical to data from previous years in the construction industry.

Topping that list are violations related to fall safety equipment. Such violations accounted for 359 of 899 deaths that occurred in 2014, and they involve issues with guardrails, portable ladders and scaffolds. Another common violation relates to a lack of training when it comes to implementing fall protection strategies. Employers must confirm in writing that an employee has been properly trained or have that employee go through a training program again.

When doctors lie on the witness stand

New York residents who are ill or injured and go to see their doctors or other health care professionals expect that the practitioners will exhibit utmost care in treating them. Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and in some instances a doctor's error can lead to the filing of a medical malpractice lawsuit. At trial, it is customary for both the plaintiff and defendant to call upon medical experts as witnesses.

As is the case in any type of trial, witnesses are sworn to tell the truth. A retired surgeon has told a contrary story, however. He has indicated that about 20 years ago in a medical malpractice trial brought against one of his colleagues, he lied to protect the other doctor's reputation. The jury subsequently ruled in favor of the defendant, although it is not known whether that false testimony was a key factor in the decision.

OSHA sees its severe injury report program as a success

New York residents may be acquainted with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's severe workplace injury reporting program that was introduced on Jan. 1, 2015. A representative for the agency said that, while the number of serious workplace injuries resulting in amputations and hospitalization still needs to be reduced, the program has helped OSHA focus its resources where they're needed.

The rule requires employers to report any workplace injury that results in eye loss, in-patient hospitalization or amputations to OSHA within 24 hours following the incident. During the first year of the rule, employers reported 2,644 work-related amputations and 7,636 hospitalizations, according to data recorded by federal OSHA states.

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