The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

The Baez Law Firm | San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys
San Antonio Lawyers and Attorneys

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Adviser: Avandia should stay on the market!

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government health advisers overwhelmingly recommended Monday that the widely used diabetes drug Avandia should remain on the market, saying evidence of an increased risk of heart attack doesn't merit removal. Although nonbinding, it is a recommendation by a panel to the Food and Drug Administration .

One of the panel's patient representative stated "We're being asked today to take a very draconian action based on studies that have very significant weaknesses and are inadequate for us to make that kind of decision." This is a diferent view by an earlier 20-3 vote by the panelists which said that available data showed the drug does increase heart risks.

The company's senior vice president and chief medical officer stated "The number of myocardial infarctions is small, the data are inconsistent and there is no overall evidence rosiglitazone is different from any other oral antidiabetes agents." Previously, the FDA had said information from dozens of studies pointed to an increased risk of heart attack.

About 1 million Americans with Type 2 diabetes use Avandia to control blood sugar by increasing the body's sensitivity to insulin. That sort of treatment has long been presumed to lessen the heart risks already associated with the disease, which is linked to obesity. News that Avandia might actually increase those risks would represent a "serious limitation" of the drug's benefit, according to the FDA.

The FDA moved up the date of Monday's meeting after the May publication of a study in The New England Journal of Medicine that generated new concerns about Avandia's safety. The analysis of 42 studies revealed a 43 percent higher risk of heart attack for those taking Avandia compared with people taking other diabetes drugs or no diabetes medication.Separately, the FDA is working to add so-called "black box" warnings to the labels of both Avandia and a second oral diabetes drug, Actos, to caution patients about the increased risk of heart failure associated with the drugs. That risk is separate from those discussed Monday.

The diabetes epidemic affects more than 18 million Americans. Most have Type 2, where the body makes too little insulin or cannot use what it does produce.Each day, there are 4,100 new cases of diabetes in the United States, and 810 deaths, said Dr. Robert Ratner, vice president of medical affairs at the MedStar Research Institute. Of those deaths, 60 percent are due to heart disease, Ratner told the panel.Congress has pointed to Avandia as evidence of FDA's fumbling of safety problems that emerge long after drugs win agency approval. The House and Senate are at work on legislation to overhaul the FDA.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Should anyone do their own PI case?

This article was received from a self-help legal advisor website. Although legal (based on the freedom of information), there are many more potentially dangerous self proclaimed self-helpers out there. This post is intended to make the public aware of the sites and the possible mistakes that could be made if an individual follow their advise.

The article starts by saying "Personal injury lawsuits, also called torts, arise when one individual harms another individual or his or her property.” [See HALT Consumer Alert: Your Personal Injury Lawsuit] In tv and phone book ads, PI lawyers have long contended that they can get you much more money than if you go it alone, especially against insurance companies. Nonetheless, most of those same law firms then only take cases involving “serious” injuries [meaning serious money], leaving many injured persons to fend for themselves anyway. When they do take you as a client, they virtually always insist that you accept the local “standard” contingency fee, on a take-it-or-leave it basis.

Notice the antagonism and the generalization of the writer of the article. The article continues in this way "The good news, if you have a personal injury claim, is 1) there are many instances when it is perfectly sensible to handle a PI claim yourself, and there are numerous sources of self-help advice; and 2) if you decide to hire a lawyer, you have the right to negotiate for a fee other than the “standard” fee you will be offered."

I remember in law school on of the professors indicated to us that "only a fool has himself/herself for a client.." I would love to send this article to the professor. Lawyers need to be aware of this type of misleading information by self proclaimed self-helpers, which by the way, are only out to make a buck.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Can the experience of surgeons determine the outcome of prostate cancer surgery?

(AP) Released. According to a new study published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer patients treated by highly experienced surgeons are much more likely to be cancer-free five years after surgery than patients treated by surgeons with less experience.

The difference in outcome among patients who were treated by surgeons with varying degrees of experience is clinically relevant and likely reflects a true relationship between surgical technique and cancer control.Many studies have examined the relationship between surgical experience and patient outcomes. However, it is often unclear whether the findings are related to differences in surgical technique or result from differences in clinical variables or tumor characteristics. In the current study, the researchers adjusted for cancer severity, so that differences among surgeons likely reflect differences in the techniques they use rather than just differences in the patients they see.

Investigators analyzed the cancer outcomes of 7,765 prostate cancer patients who were treated with radical prostatectomy surgical removal of the prostate by one of 72 surgeons at four major US academic medical centers over a 16-year period. Sophisticated statistical models were used to evaluate the link between the total number of prostatectomies performed by the surgeon prior to each patient's operation and biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer (defined as a rising PSA level of more than 0.4 ng/mL).

The results showed that the risk of recurrence five years after surgery was 17.9 percent for patients treated by surgeons who had performed 10 operations and 10.7 percent for patients treated by surgeons who had performed 250 operations. This means that patients treated by inexperienced surgeons were nearly 70 percent more likely to have a recurrence of their prostate cancer than those who were treated by surgeons with greater experience. According to the analysis, one out of every 14 patients treated by an inexperienced surgeon will have a recurrence.

The results were described in terms of a learning curve, which showed a dramatic improvement in cancer control with increasing surgical experience up to 250 prior operations; however, there was no large change in recurrence rates with additional surgical experience.
The learning curve is steep and did not start to plateau until a surgeon had completed 250 prior operations, surgeons with little experience get significantly poorer results than those who have more.

Our results provide support for what other studies have implied that good technique is learned and increased volume leads to improved outcomes, focus on cancer outcome, the size of the difference in outcome associated with increasing surgical experience, and the large number of cases required before the learning curve starts to plateau, suggests that more serious attention should be paid to the issue of surgical quality.

The researchers note that the surgical technique of experienced surgeons may differ from that of surgeons with less experience. They conclude that further research is needed to determine how surgical technique might differ between these groups and to identify the critical aspects of radical prostatectomy that are associated with improved cancer control.

Although the successful practice of surgery presumes a lifetime of learning, the large number of cases required before the learning curve plateaus suggests the need to expand opportunities for training in surgical technique for surgeons in the early years after residency training.

When the former 4590i was been changed by the new chapter 74, one can help but wonder, whether if the legislation had this type of data available to them, the outcome and caps on non-economic damages would have been different.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Advanced Personal Injury Course

Dear Texas Attorneys,

Just a reminder that the newest CLE on personal injury will be conducted in San Antonio at the Hyatt Resout on August 3, 2007. We hope to see you all there.

Texar Bar Circle

Dear Texas Attorneys,

I recently joined a network of attorneys all throughout Texas and is called the Texas Bar Circle. All you have to do is make a profile and soon you will connect with thousand of Texan attorneys just like you. In two days, I met over 15 new friends and colleagues. Give it a try, and you will most likely love the results.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Hospital Worker Accused of Raping Patients

Methodist Healthcare is facing a lawsuit, after two women claim they were raped by an employee at a San Antonio hospital.
Those women were patients at Methodist Specialty and Transplant Center last month. One woman claims a worker at the hospital raped her in a bathroom. The other woman says he also raped her, while she was sleeping in her room.
The hospital is looking into the accusations.
"We take all out patients' allegations very seriously," says Jo Ann King of Methodist Healthcare. "Our administrators looked into these allegations and did a thorough investigation and we are fully cooperating with the San Antonio Police Department."
Hospital officials say they conduct full background checks on all potential employees, but this worker did not have a troubled past.
According to SAPD, the man named in the lawsuit has not been arrested. He is no longer employed with Methodist Healthcare.

Source: http://www.woai.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=7c46f7b8-6be0-44e2-b0ea-8ab9b4867fa7

Toddler's Body Found in Texas Floods

(AP) - GAINESVILLE, Texas-The body of a 2-year-old girl was found in a tree Tuesday, nearly 3 miles downstream from where her family's mobile home was swept away a day earlier by flooding blamed for six deaths.
Authorities determined all people had been accounted for after storms poured nearly a foot of rain on parts of North Texas.
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Aided by receding water, rescuers and search dogs scoured Pecan Creek and its banks for Makayla Marie Mollenhour. The bodies of her 5-year-old sister, Teresa Leann Arnett, and grandmother, Billie Murel Mollenhour, 60, were recovered from the flood waters on Monday. The girl's mother was the only one rescued after their home was washed into a bridge, Texas Department of Public Safety Trooper Rebecca Uresti said.
Officials previously said a woman and child were missing, but officers went door-to-door in the area and could not confirm their existence, Uresti said.
Gov. Rick Perry had sent three helicopters and Texas National Guard troops and equipment to help with the searches.
At least three other people died in Monday's flooding. A 4-year-old girl was swept away from her mother in the Fort Worth suburb of Haltom City, a 48-year-old woman died in Sherman when her sport utility vehicle flooded, and a 74-year-old man died in Grayson County after driving into high water.
Perry declared four counties disaster areas because of storm damage, making them eligible for emergency funds. He called the flood a "horrific event" after taking an aerial tour of Gainesville's storm-damaged areas.
"I'm always impressed with how the people of Texas step up and perform at an admirable level when great tragedy strikes, particularly when nature gives us some very difficult situations," Perry said.
The National Weather Service said the downpour at times fell at a rate of an inch every 15 minutes.
In Gainesville, along the Oklahoma state line, waters surged up to 8 feet deep in some places and forced many to their rooftops to be rescued. Flooding damaged about 300 homes and 75 downtown businesses, causing about $28 million in damage, Mayor Glenn Loch said.
The storm also caused Cooke County to lose 75 percent of its crops, including wheat and corn, said County Judge Bill Freeman. He said no monetary loss estimate was available.
Some 450 people took refuge in two city shelters Monday, but that number dwindled to 300 by Tuesday and officials decided to leave open only one shelter, Loch said. It will remain open as long as necessary, he said.
Frances Anderson, who was staying at a shelter with her 6-year-old daughter, said she awoke early Monday morning to ankle-deep water. Just moments later, the water was waist deep, she said.
"It was so weird. Ah!" she said. "I was just in shock to see that much water."
Anderson, who rents the house but did not have insurance, said she hopes her landlord will repair it. She said she is not sure where she will live in the meantime but will stay at the shelter as long as it's open.
"I just can't believe this," she said, hugging her daughter, Jasmine. "I'm sad, but I still have her."

Source: http://news.findlaw.com/ap/o/632/06-20-2007/648f001eb58f8056.html

4 Texas Teens Killed When Car Hits Train

(AP) - BAYTOWN, Texas-Six teenagers in a stolen car slammed into a freight train parked at a railroad crossing early Thursday, killing four of them and leaving another in critical condition, authorities said.
The impact tore the roof off their Jeep Cherokee as it skidded under a tanker before winding up on the other side of the tracks, said Lt. John Martin, a spokesman for the Harris County Sheriff's Department.
news230();

Authorities believe the 15-year-old driver didn't see the train until it was too late. The intersection was dark and didn't have a crossing gate or lights.
Three 14-year-olds and a 13-year-old, all seated in the back, were killed. The driver and a 15-year-old in the front passenger seat were airlifted to a Houston hospital, where the driver was in critical condition and the other was listed as stable.
"There were some short skid marks," Martin said. "It would appear the driver noticed the train immediately before impact, but not early enough to stop hitting the train."
The car was reported stolen shortly before the accident and did not belong to any family members of the passengers, Martin said. At least two of the victims were cousins, he said.
No identities were immediately released.

Source: http://news.findlaw.com/ap/o/632/06-14-2007/05700009b6032432.html

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Are passengers entlitled to coverage?

Thousands of people suffer serious personal injuries every year
as a result of being the passenger in an automobile accident.
About 3,200,000 passengers in an automobile each year are injured
in automobile accidents. Approximately 41,000 fatalities resulted
from these accidents.

The important thing to remember is this, if the driver of the vehicle that
you were riding in is at fault, his or her insurance should provide coverage to pay for you injuries and medical bills. If another vehicle is at fault, the insurance company
of the driver who caused the accident should provide compensation.

Adjusters that work for Insurance companies will often try to not pay you what you
deserve, or will try to not pay you at all for injuries suffered
as a passenger. The insurance companies may claim that since they
do not cover you that you are on your own. They may even try to
fault you in some form or fashion.

The passengers have always had rights that they
are frequently unaware of. Adjusters will offer you a
quick settlement just to get you to sign off and to sign away
your rights for further compensation. What the insurance
companies do not tell you is that passengers are entitled to
additional compensations besides just medical fees.

Adjusters generally will not let you know that these entitlements are available. This is the insurance companies attempt at saving money. This is where a qualified and competent attorney comes into play. An attorney can help you to get the full compensation that you deserve as the injured passenger in an accident. Insurance companies will fight to keep from giving their own customers what they deserve in an accident and the insurance companies will fight even harder to give someone who is not covered by them what he or she deserves. If you do not have an attorney to represent you in an accident case you will be overwhelmed by paperwork from hospitals, insurance companies, physicians, etc. Having an attorney who knows how insurance companies work is the best move that you can make. An attorney can deal with all the headaches of paperwork and making sure that you receive the full compensation that you deserve. Dealing with all of these difficulties and suffering an injury at the same time is more than many people can handle. If you suffer an accident as a passenger you need a lawyer who is on your side and who will watch out for your best interest. You can be sure that the insurance companies will have attorneys on their side and you will need one too.

Please call (210) 979-9777 or visit our website http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com

Does federal law preempts recovery against an FDA approved medical device?

The United States Supreme Court will take up on the question. There is a discrepancy on rulings form several circcuits including 3rd, 5th, 6th, and 7th which have held similarly and the 11th circuit reaching an opposite conclusion. Riegel v. Medtronics, Inc., No. 06-179. Certiorari granted June 25, 2007.

Previous presedent had set forth two requirements for preemption: 1) that the product is subject to device-specific standards, and 2) that a successful lawsuit under state law would impose additional standards upon the device.

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San Antonio, Texas, United States
Find Personal Injury Trial Lawyers that will treat you with dignity and respect. The Baez Law Firm, P.C. is dedicated to help those less fortunate. Our San Antonio Lawyers also handle family law, criminal defense, business law, immigration, social security disability, patent law, trade marks and much more. We are professionals that care about your legal needs. Our motto is simple: “Minimizing Legal Worries!”℠ Visit us at http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com or call us (210) 979-9777. Have a blessed day!

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1100 NW Loop 410, Suite 500
San Antonio, Texas 78213
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http://www.thebaezlawfirm.com/

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