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Bowie Maryland Legal Blog

Nursing facility being sued by parents of 6 children

When families in Maryland entrust professionals with the medical care and treatment of vulnerable individuals, they anticipate that their loved ones will be cared for with compassion. Often, they spend considerable time researching their options to find a facility that is capable of providing the type of committed care they want their loved one to have. 

Unfortunately, there are situations where medical professionals fail to live up to those expectations and neglectful or reckless behaviors begins to affect the patients of their establishment. In a recent and extreme case that has made national headlines, a nursing and rehabilitation center is being sued by the parents of six deceased children following a viral outbreak where 11 children died and multiple others were sickened. Investigations revealed that the facility was previously cited for lackluster efforts to maintain adequate controls to reduce the spread of infection. They also received citations for poor handwashing. 

Does your divorce have to be a court battle?

Many divorce cases involve a highly contentious court battle with high emotions and fighting. These situations can be extremely draining for a person to go through and no one enjoys battling for their family and their property.

There is no easy or simple way to go through a divorce, but is there a way to make it less stressful? There are a few divorce alternatives you may want to consider to avoid some of the worst parts of divorce process. Mediation and collaboration are two different ways you can settle your divorce, with less stress, but how do they work?

Maryland sees increase in DUI deaths

When it comes to deaths caused by drunk drivers, even one is too many given that these incidents are completely preventable if only people would make the responsible choice to not drive after consuming alcohol. Unfortunately, that just does not seem like something that some drivers are willing to do.

According to records from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Maryland saw an increase in the number of people killed by drunk drivers in 2017 compared to 2016. In 2016, there were 142 fatalities in crashes involving alcohol. These deaths represented 27 percent of the state's total vehicular fatalities that year. Last year, however, the situation was even worse as 186 lives were lost at the hands of drunk drivers on Maryland roads, highways and freeways. That total comprised 34 percent of all Maryland deaths in auto accidents in 2017. The national average for drunk driving deaths last year was 29 percent.

Lawsuit alleges doctors actions led to singer's suicide

Most in Bowie likely associate medical malpractice with errors committed by a doctor in the course of providing treatment. Suicide cases might be viewed as being completely separate from medical malpractice issues. Yet what about those cases where it is believed the actions of a health care practitioner created the conditions that led to one's suicide? Given a doctor's unique knowledge of clinical science, it might be expected that they would know better than to put an at-risk patient in position of receiving counsel, care or medication whose direct (or indirect effects) could be harmful. 

That is the claim being made by the widow of late singer Chris Cornell. The former Soundgarden frontman took his own life in May of last year. An autopsy revealed there to be a significant amount of the drug Ativan in his system at the time of his death. Cornell's widow claims that the doctor who had been providing her husband with Ativan prescriptions should have known that the doing so was dangerous, given that one of the drug's recognized side effects is diminished impulse control and an increased risk of suicide in people who are addiction-prone. She goes on to say that the doctor know Cornell was prone to addiction due to him originally being referred to the doctor by the singer's therapist to help him deal with substance abuse. 

Alimony, taxes and the rush to divorce

As soon as the turkey leftovers are put away, many people in Maryland turn their attention to their Black Friday shopping trips. This year, however, instead of hopping in their cars and rushing to the malls, some people might be rushing to get their divorces completed before the calendar turns to 2019.

In a recent report, Bloomberg explains that 2018 may see a big reversal in what is normal for divorcing couples. Typically, the holiday season is when people either hold off on divorce conversations to get through the holidays with less family drama or even try one last effort to save their marriages from divorce. This year, however, pushing to finalize a divorce may well be more likely.

Are hands-free cellular devices safe?

It is illegal to use a hand-held cellphone while driving in Maryland and in many other states across the country. In an attempt to comply with the law, you may have turned to using a hands-free cellular device while behind the wheel. These devices are marketed as being a safe alternative to traditional hand-held cellphones, as they eliminate the manual and visual distractions caused by the hand-held types. A study released by AAA, however, shows that hands-free cellphones may not be as safe as some people may think.

In the study, participants were asked to drive a simulator vehicle, as well as an actual car set up with monitoring devices. Researchers measured their heart rate, eye movement, brain activity and response time while they performed a number of distracting activities. These included the following:

  •          Talking on a hands-free cellphone
  •          Talking on a hand-held cellphone
  •          Maintaining a conversation with a passenger in the car
  •          Listening to the radio
  •          Listening to an audio book
  •          Composing an email using voice-activated technology

What are some signs my spouse is hiding assets?

In order to get a fair assessment of your marital assets in a Maryland divorce court, you have to report all your assets. While you may be completely honest, your spouse may try to hide assets. It is important that you watch out for any activity that may be a sign he or she is trying to hide something from you and the court. If an asset is not revealed during the course of your court proceedings, it will not be including when the assets are divided and awarded by the court.

The Street warns that a spouse who is hiding assets may often resort to sneaky or secretive behavior. One example is hiding bank account statements or being extra secretive about his or her credit report. Such actions might be to keep you away from seeing just how much money he or she has or as a way of hiding secret accounts. Another common behavior is rushing to always get the mail. He or she may be trying to intercept mail before you can see it and discover a hidden asset.

4 Types of military benefits that can end after divorce

For civilian spouses who are considering divorce from a military member, the loss of benefits may be a huge concern. Military benefits provide healthcare, retirement funds and other privileges that relieve huge financial burdens.

Here are four types of military benefits that may be at risk if you are getting a military divorce.

Poor infection control linked to deadly viral outbreak

A deadly viral outbreak at a nursing facility sounds like the plot of a gothic horror novel, not a contemporary news story that could happen in or near Maryland in the 21st century. Nevertheless, this nightmare scenario for parents is currently playing out at a New Jersey long-term care facility for children with compromised immune systems where 25 children have fallen ill with an adenovirus, nine of whom have died. 

There are many different types of disease-causing adenoviruses. The type involved in the current outbreak is type 7. It is an environmentally hardy virus that can remain infectious for long periods on surfaces such as medical instruments and is resistant to many common disinfectants. Infected individuals often demonstrate upper respiratory symptoms similar to the flu.

Risks associated with overworked hospital staff

Maryland residents rely on hospital staff for extremely important matters of health. However, hospital staff are human just like anyone else. They can make mistakes like anyone else, too. Unfortunately, the chances of these mistakes happening can be increased by problems in the industry itself.

The American Nurses Association takes a look at nurse fatigue in hospitals, a common but dangerous situation in hospitals all over the state and across the country. Nursing staff tends to be very overworked in the industry. Hospitals are often understaffed, forcing people to work long hours with few breaks. It isn't uncommon for extremely long shifts to be pulled, like 12 hours or even longer. Sometimes nurses will barely have a day at home between shifts.

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