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OAJ BLOG CENTRAL

CSX Employment Test Faces Discrimination Challenge

Shared by Murray & Murray

www.murrayandmurray.com/blog


For nearly a decade, thousands of people who have applied for work at CSX Transportation’s freight rail yard in Huntington, W.Va. were required to strap into an isokinetic machine that measures muscle strength. While it’s true that working for a railroad line typically involves physical strength, in August the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that the outcomes of the test demonstrate discrimination against women.

According to the lawsuit filed by the EEOC, nearly nine in 10 men passed the test with the top strength score, while just three in 10 women earned similar scores. More than half the women failed the test, while just six percent of the men did. The lawsuit also alleges that two tests, the “step test” to measure aerobic capacity and the “ergometer test” to measure arm strength, are failed significantly more by women than men. The test results demonstrate a disparity in how tests affect a certain class of people (in this case women) that the EEOC is responsible for protecting against workplace discrimination.

Although many employers in all industries use some type of assessment to measure physical and cognitive abilities and certain personality traits as a condition of employment, such tests can have unintended consequences and must be statistically validated to ensure that they effectively predict job safety and performance, meaning a railroad operator must be able to demonstrate that those who pass the test work safer and more effectively than those who don’t. 

This is not the first lawsuit alleging that a physical employment test constituted sex discrimination. In July 2014, the U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit against the Pennsylvania State Police over physical fitness tests that excessively screened out females applying for state trooper positions. A bench trial in the case has been scheduled for April 9, 2018.


Waking up to the Dangers of Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel

Shared by Sandel Law Firm

www.sandellaw.com/blog


Ohio readers likely know that certain behaviors, such as distracted driving and speeding, can lead to the increased chance of a car accident. People are aware of the danger of negligent or reckless driving, but many fail to recognize the potential danger that comes from getting behind the wheel of a car while drowsy. 

Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as distracted driving in some respects. While most people have operated a motor vehicle while a little sleepy, there is a difference between being tired and being dangerously exhausted. Tired drivers can cause serious accidents, and in some cases, it may be possible to hold these parties accountable by filing a civil claim.

What's so bad about being a little tired?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drowsy driving is a major problem on American roads and highways. Drowsy driving happens when a driver gets behind the wheel while too tired to safely operate it, and drugs or alcohol can increase the effect of exhaustion that a person may feel. Tired and fatigued driving is dangerous for many reasons, including the following:

  • Exhaustion can slow a driver's reaction time to a perceived danger in the road.
  • Being too tired to drive safely can make a person less able to think clearly and make good decisions.
  • Fatigue diminishes a driver's attention levels and the ability to focus.

In some cases, a driver is tired enough to actually fall asleep behind the wheel, which can lead to serious accidents. Whether or not a person is tired because of an unusual work schedule, medication, a medical condition or other reason, every person is responsible for knowing when he or she is unable to safely operate a vehicle.

Driving while drowsy can be just as dangerous as driving while drunk or distracted. Victims of this type of negligent behavior have the right to seek compensation for damages and financial losses.

Your course of action as an accident victim

As the victim of a car accident, you may feel overwhelmed by your options and unsure of what you should do next. It can be useful to start with a complete evaluation of your case in order to understand if you could have grounds to move forward with a personal injury claim.

Drowsy driving is a dangerous problem, and victims of this type of negligent behavior or any other type of reckless behavior exhibited by another driver have the right to speak up and take action.


Why do People Keep Texting and Driving?

Shared by The Heck Law Offices, Ltd.

www.hecklawoffices.com/blog


You would have to be living under a rock not to know that distracted driving, particularly through cellphone use, is a huge issue these days.

State have passed laws against it. There are reminders not to text and drive on billboards, on flashing roadside signs and on rental car dashboards. There are commercials about it. Even phone manufacturers have gotten into the act -- some phones automatically shut off if you're traveling at certain speeds unless you manually tell them you're a passenger, not the driver. Games and apps you can use on your phone contain similar warnings and disabling functions.

So, why do people keep picking up their cellphones while driving?

If everybody knows it is a bad idea, why does anybody even dream of picking up a phone while behind the wheel?

Scientists think they have the answer -- and the answer may just bring the cure.

According to cognitive psychologists, the reason people pick up the phone when they drive is nothing short of a chemical in the brain that a lot of people are vaguely familiar with: dopamine.

Dopamine is a naturally-produced substance that signals rewards or satisfaction in human brains. When it works best, it helps humans remember what is good for them and how to get the most pleasure out of life. Unfortunately, it can also lead the way to addictive behaviors as people seek the dopamine rush that comes from things like drugs, sex, gambling and even dangerous activities like driving too fast.

Sociologists and psychologists both say that phones have become an intrinsic part of most people's social networks -- and social contacts drive dopamine levels up.

In other words, people pick up their phones while they're driving and check the latest text or note from Messenger for the same reason that a lot of people lose a couple of hours of productivity a day to social media sites: They're getting a dopamine fix from it.

Last year, roadway fatalities increased 6 percent. If dopamine and distracted driving are the cause, what's the cure?

It may be time to revert back to an almost unthinkable era where cars weren't "wired in" to the Internet of Things. That will shut off the driver's access to those dopamine-driven behaviors.

In the meantime: turn your phone off -- or even lock it in the trunk -- while you drive.


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Ohio Employer Required Posters
Shared by Dagger Law

www.daggerlaw.com/dagger-law-blog


Numerous state and federal laws require Ohio employers to post specific employment related signs throughout the workplace. The required posters are designed to ensure that employees are aware of guidelines and laws that could affect them in the workplace. Certain posters are required of all Ohio employers; other posters are unique to certain industries.

The Ohio Fair Employment Practices Law poster is required to be posted by all employers in the workplace. This mandatory poster generally states that Ohio law prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, religion, sex, age, military service, nationality and other protected classes, and that the Ohio Civil Rights Commission is available to investigate any employee complaints.

Ohio requires that all employers post the Ohio minimum wage. Ohio employers also must have a sign displaying the employer’s Workers’ Compensation Certificate. Additionally, all places of employment in Ohio must post a “No-Smoking” poster at each entrance. Many Ohio employers are required to have an Ohio Minor Labor Law poster, which advises employees younger than 18 years of age how much they are legally allowed to work.

Various federal laws also require mandatory postings in Ohio businesses. Similar to the Ohio Fair Employment Practices Law poster, federal law requires that employers display the “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law” poster, which is meant to protect employees from workplace discrimination. Federal law also requires employers to post information relating to the Fair Labor Standards Act, which details the minimum wage, child labor laws, and overtime requirements. Depending on their size, Ohio employers may additionally be required to post the “Rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act.”   

Dozens of other laws and regulations mandate posters (unemployment compensation rights, Occupational Safety and Health rights, to name just a few), depending on the size of the business, or even across types of industries.  Businesses and employers may also choose to post other signs (for example, prohibiting concealed weapons on their premises).  Failure to follow “poster laws” could subject employers to monetary fines and penalties, and also could restrict their ability to defend claims made by employees.  

Many fee-based services are available to assist employers with required posters. Businesses are encouraged to annually audit their posters for compliance with “poster laws,” particularly given the wide array of laws that are involved.


Woman Confronted with Misdiagnosis Still has Medical Bills

Shared by The Goldberg Law Firm Co., LPA 

www.smglegalblog.com


If an Ohio resident has a medical issue and goes for treatment, the expectation is that the medical professionals will assess the situation, conduct tests, come to an accurate diagnosis, and begin treatment. However, if there are mistakes, that can lead to the person not getting the proper treatment or getting treatment that was not necessary. Both can be viewed as forms of medical malpractice. A legal filing can be initiated if there was a mistake.

A woman who had been told she was suffering from ovarian cancer was treated with more than four months of chemotherapy. She had significant changes to her appearance including a loss of hair and discoloration of her fingernails. However, when the doctors conducted tests to see if the treatment was effective on her tumor, they found that she did not have ovarian cancer, but gastrointestinal cancer, also referred to as GIST. This type of cancer is treatable with a prescription. The woman will need to take the pill for three years to treat the disease. While this is an overall positive, there is still the reality that the doctors made a mistake in her diagnosis and treatment. Compounding the issue is that she is still receiving bills for the treatments that she did not need. A portion was written off, but she still owes for the treatment. She is hoping the bills will be written off completely because of the mistakes.

Doctors and other medical professionals can make a litany of errors when they are treating patients. Some can cause significant damage and lead to death. Others might not have long lasting ramifications, but do have a negative impact on a person's life. No matter the situation, when going for medical treatment, it is reasonable to believe that the staff will do their jobs and make certain that their diagnosis is accurate before and during treatment. If there is an error and the person is harmed personally of financially because of it, it could be the basis for a legal filing to be compensated.

In this case, the woman was given a treatment for a cancer she did not have. The actual cancer was one in which it could be treated with a pill and she did not have to have chemotherapy. Since she was misdiagnosed and received treatment she did not need, she might have the right to be compensated not just for the costs of the treatment, but for what she went through. 


4.6 Seconds is a Long Time for a Trucker to Drive Distracted

Shared by Donahey Law Firm, LLC

www.donaheylaw.com/blog


Commercial drivers, including those who operate semitrucks and buses, need to have their attention on the roadway. Failing to do so can result in accidents that can range from minor fender benders to fatal crashes. One thing that can distract truckers and other commercial drivers is texting. For this reason, the federal government has stepped in to set up regulations regarding texting, smartphone use, and cellphone use for these drivers.

A driver who is sending or receiving a text takes their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. This doesn't seem like a very long time, but when you are traveling at high rates of speed, it is actually a very long time. In this time span, a vehicle moving at 55 miles per hour travels the entire length of a football field. That is enough distance to cause a very serious accident -- in less than five seconds.

Truckers have options for remaining connected to loved ones while they are on the road, so lack of communication can't be cited as a reason for violating regulations. These truckers can choose to use hands-free options for answering and making calls. Speech-to-text programs and text-to-voice programs can enable the truckers to continue to send and receive texts.

Ultimately, when truckers are distracted, innocent people suffer. The victims of distracted trucking accidents might choose to seek compensation for the injuries they suffered. The actions of the trucker in the moments leading up to the accident might come into the picture, so understanding how to obtain crucial evidence can help you as you begin to build your case against the trucker.


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Health Facilities on Notice About Top 10 Tech Hazards for 2018

Shared by McKeen & Associates, PC 

www.mckeenassociates.com/blog


Technology is important – in everyday life and medical care. Unfortunately, improper or negligent use of it can mean disaster for patients.

All medical devices, whether they are as routine as a bed or complex as robotic-assisted surgery tools, carry with them risks unless health care facilities and those who work in them take the steps necessary to minimize the dangers. In pursuit of that goal, ECRI Institute has issued its latest list of the top 10 tech hazards for 2018. They are:

  1. Cybersecurity: Hacker infiltration of computers has been widely reported in 2017. ECRI says deployment of things like ransomware is likely to continue. Patient data and networked medical devices could be compromised.
     
  2. Improper reprocessing of endoscopes: Doctors insert these optical tools into patient's bodies to get an interior view of organ tissue. If not properly cleaned, dried and stored, they can spread infection.
     
  3. Contaminated bedding: Sheets and mattress covers get washed. Mattresses don't. Body fluid leaks from previous patients could pose risks to others.
     
  4. Badly configured alarm systems: Devices intended to inform providers about emergencies aren't much good if they aren't programmed properly to begin with.
     
  5. Insufficient equipment cleaning: Medical equipment is unique. The methods to clean it are often tool-specific. Use the wrong tool and the equipment can become a hazard.
     
  6. Out-of-place active-electrode pencils: These surgical tools come with special holsters and they need to be used. If they aren't, and a tip comes in contact with something or someone it shouldn't, fire and injury are possible.
     
  7. Inadequate application of digital imaging tools: Diagnostic imaging technology has made great strides, but exposure to too much of the ionizing radiation can cause burns or increase cancer risk.
     
  8. Correct use of medication bar-code systems: When properly deployed and maintained, these scanners can prevent medication errors. The problem, according to ECRI, is that if there's a lack of training or the equipment doesn't function right, care workers won't bother to use it.
     
  9. Medical device networking mistakes: Errors in this regard can mean the wrong or delayed care for patients.
     
  10. Improper enteral feeding tube connections: If the tube is supposed to deliver food to the stomach, it must not go somewhere else. New connectors on the market ensure that bad connections don't happen.

This may seem like a great deal of detail, but when life is at stake, it can't be optional.


5 Social Security Disability Myths, Busted

Shared by Casper & Casper

casperlaw.com/blog


When you need to file for Social Security Disability, many of your family and friends will want to help. They might offer advice and recount the experiences of people they know. Unfortunately, information from well-meaning loved ones is often heard through the grapevine. In some cases, what they tell you has a grain of truth. In others, the “facts” are anything but.

Today, we’re taking a look at some of the most common Social Security Disability myths. You can trust that we’ll tell you what’s true and what “advice” you should ignore.

MYTH #1: SOCIAL SECURITY DENIES EVERYONE THE FIRST TIME THEY APPLY

Many Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) claimants get denied the first time they apply: about 70 percent. To be sure, this is a high number! However, that is not because the Social Security Administration (SSA) has any sort of regulation or process guaranteeing denial for first-time applications. It is more likely because applying for SSDI is a complicated process (made more difficult if you try to go it alone).

The best way to improve your chances of being approved the first time is to collect as much evidence as possible for your disability and understand what your claim needs to include to be successful. An experienced Social Security Disability attorney can help you with this.

MYTH #2: A STATEMENT FROM YOUR DOCTOR WILL GUARANTEE SSDI APPROVAL

While your doctor may already be convinced that you are disabled and unable to work for the time being, that doesn’t mean that the Social Security Administration is also convinced.

There are many factors that go into the SSA’s decision. A letter from your physician will help your case if he or she includes the following: an opinion of what your physical or mental limitations are and an explanation of why objective medical evidence supports your doctor’s opinion. A simple statement that the doctor believes you to be disabled is not enough.

Furthermore, while there are certain conditions so serious that a diagnosis by your doctor automatically qualifies you for disability (like acute leukemia, Lou Gehrig’s disease, pancreatic cancer, etc.), there are still financial and legal requirements that must be met. For example, you must have worked a certain number of years and must not be currently doing substantial work.

MYTH #3: SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY BENEFITS WILL REPLACE ALL YOUR INCOME

SSDI benefits are a safety net. This means, unfortunately, that you cannot expect SSDI benefits to replace 100 percent of your previous income. On average, SSDI beneficiaries receive between $700 and $1,700 per month (though your case will vary).

Still, you have options. You may also qualify for Supplemental Security Income, a federal program that serves those with limited income and resources. (Here, it’s important to note that if the amount you receive from SSI is based on your income—so the more benefits available to you under SSDI, the less you may receive in SSI.) You may also be able to return to work for a limited time, if you are able, without jeopardizing your SSDI benefits.

MYTH #4: YOU HAVE TO BE ON SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY FOR LIFE

Many injured workers who consider applying for Social Security Disability think that, once they receive SSDI benefits, they’re in the program for life.

This isn’t the case: your benefits will only continue for as long as you are disabled. The SSA will periodically review your medical condition for improvement. The frequency of reviews depends on whether or not improvement is expected, possible, or not expected. Even if your case is not expected to improve, a review may still take place every three to seven years.

If you would like to try to return to work but worry that you will lose your benefits, you have a few options. The SSA has what are called “work incentives” as well as a Ticket to Work program that allows benefits to continue while you test your ability to work. You may be able to keep your cash benefits, continue Medicare or Medicaid eligibility, and receive education or vocational training. If you become disabled again within several years, you may receive special treatment—allowing you to go back to receiving your benefits without having to go through the claims process a second time.

MYTH #5: IT WILL TAKE FOREVER TO SEE ANY BENEFITS

The claims process for Social Security Disability can take some time. It may take as long as a year for your case to be reviewed the Social Security Administration.

The good news, however, is that there are several exceptions to this. If you are suffering from a condition included in the SSA’s “Compassionate Allowance” list, you will get special treatment. (This list outlines extremely serious conditions automatically qualifying someone for disability.) In addition, your claim may be expedited if your case is terminal or if you are losing your home to eviction or foreclosure. Finally, you should know that you may receive what’s known as “back pay,” benefits that cover the time you waited to be approved.


High Trucker Turnover A Serious Problem On Ohio Roads

Shared by Smith Law Office

www.sestriallaw.com/blog


Driving commercial trucks was once a secure blue-collar job, sought after for its high pay and ample benefits. However, with the increased deregulation of the trucking industry, truck drivers are earning lower salaries and reaping minimum benefits.

For many, truck driving can be an exhausting and stressful job. Long-distance driving in some of the most oppressive conditions can lead to a slew of difficulties. In turn, the trucking industry is experiencing a massive amount of job turnover.

Turnover Rates Surge in Recent Years

Trucker turnover rates continue to rise, and the statistics are staggering. According to American Trucking Associations, the turnover rate recently jumped to 90 percent- surpassing the final quarter of 2015.

There are many factors contributing to the increased turnover rates in the trucking industry. According to USA Drivers, truck driving comes with potential health risks - including but not limited to depression and mood disorders, sleep deprivation, and heart disease.

An All Trucking FAQ points out that, new drivers are paid considerably less than experienced drivers. Due to their limited experience, new drivers are also considered a liability to many trucking companies. Their lack of experience operating a commercial vehicle, could potentially put themselves and others at risk.

Truck Accident Statistics

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that large trucks, which only make up 4 percent of vehicles on the road, account for 11 percent of fatal crashes in the U.S. The majority of those killed in large truck accidents were operating passenger cars. Additionally, bicyclists, pedestrians, road workers, and highway police officers have lost their lives in truck accidents.

There are safeguards and actions that can be taken to make conditions safer for truck drivers and others who share the roadways. One of those needs to be an emphasis on training and experience within the trucking industry itself. Unfortunately, with such astronomical turnover rates, far too many of the truck drivers on the road today lack the experience to safely operate their vehicles.

What Can Be Done to Increase Safety?

Trucking companies are responsible for improving safety for their drivers as well as passenger-vehicle drivers, pedestrians, and road workers. That's why it is important for new drivers to receive in-depth training in order to ensure their safety and the safety of others. Additionally, trucking companies should offer improved technological resources and health benefits to help retain experienced drivers and

further improve road safety.


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Stress and Workers’ Compensation Claims

Shared by Heller, Maas, Moro & Magill Co., L.P.A.

www.ohiodisabilitylaw.com/blog


While most people will agree that a certain amount of workplace stress is normal and can even be a positive motivator, excessive and unending stress can hurt your professional performance and your personal life. If left unchecked, stress can impact your health both physically and emotionally and leave you feeling helpless and out of control.

What happens when stress causes lasting damage to your professional life and prevents you from being able to work? While most on-the-job injuries allow for employees to file a workers’ compensation claim, most employers’ workers’ compensation coverage may reject such claims outright, or will only allow for stress and anxiety claims under certain, particular circumstances.

According to the Ohio State Bar, the workers’ compensation statute does not consider psychiatric conditions to be an injury unless “the condition has arisen from an injury or occupational disease.” What this means is that the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) will typically not recognize claims related to stress and anxiety that arise due to accumulated stress over time and will instead identify disorders that arise from singular, traumatic events that are easier to prove measurable psychological damage.

An example of an event that has a direct psychological impact might be a bank employee who was held at gunpoint during a robbery and experienced anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a result of the incident. Traumatic events at the workplace, like an assault or serious injury accident, may sustain the burden of proof needed to demonstrate lasting psychological effects. This is often called a “flow-through condition” or “secondary condition” which means an original injury (in this case, assault) caused a different condition (the anxiety and PTSD) that may be allowed after diagnosis by a medical professional.

Unfortunately, for many people, the everyday demands of the workplace, from tight deadlines to demanding superiors can add up over time and may have visible effects on your performance at work and your life at home. What many people do not understand is the difference between short-term stress and long-term stress, and how each can affect your life.

Short-term stress (for example, an imposing deadline to land a new client or a demanding life-event like moving to a new home) is often easier for most people to deal with. Large projects can be managed, and by putting in extra hours, you may be able to deliver it on time. While it can be stressful, moving has a definitive end-date, and once you are in your new home, you can relax and enjoy your new surroundings without lasting effects.

Long-term stress, also known as chronic stress, is much harder to deal with and often results in serious problems if it is not dealt with in a healthy manner. Chronic stress can have very severe mental effects like anxiety and depression, as well as physical effects on one’s health. Some common physical symptoms of chronic stress include:

  • Cardiovascular conditions – elevated blood pressure and stress hormones can lead to inflammation in the circulatory system, and may cause a stroke, heart attack, or hypertension.
  • Musculoskeletal conditions – stress can cause the muscles of the body to tense up, leading to migraines and tension headaches.
  • Respiratory conditions – individuals who suffer from chronic stress often report breathing problems similar to asthma and hyperventilation, which can trigger panic attacks in certain people.
  • Gastrointestinal problems – Chronic stress can lead to stomach problems like heartburn, ulcers, and bowel problems.
  • Reproductive system problems – Long-term stress has shown noticeable effects for both male and female reproductive systems. Individuals may experience performance anxiety, lack of desire, lowered testosterone function, and other gender-specific problems.

For individuals who are suffering from chronic stress, it is essential to seek professional help to deal with the issues in their life (whether they are professional or personal) to maintain a healthy mental and physical balance. A mental health professional can help counsel you to identify the stress factors in your life, set healthy boundaries, and give you tips on how to cope with stressful situations.

While many people find comfort and helpful solutions through counseling, therapy, and other mental health services that focus on eliminating stress in one’ life, the financial costs of such treatment do not always have to be shouldered by the individual alone. As we discussed earlier, Ohio workers’ compensation statutes do allow for certain workers to file a workers’ compensation claim if their anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder can be considered a flow-through from an injury at work.

Because this flow-through determination must be made before a workers’ compensation claim will be approved, it is important for you to hire a qualified and experienced legal team to assist you with your application. Far too many workers “roll the dice” and hope that their claims will be approved, or that their employer’s insurance company will accept their claim in good faith. Why leave your compensation claim to chance? By hiring an attorney who understands the specific requirements in Ohio and who knows what evidence must be presented to demonstrate a strong workers’ compensation claim, you may be able to secure the compensation you are owed to pay for lost wages from time off of work, medical bills, and other expenses.


Drug Maker Pushes Dangerous Drug Nuedexta on Nursing Home Residents

Shared by Michael Hill, Esq. | Eadie Hill Trial Lawyers

www.eadiehill.com


Do most nursing home residents who are prescribed the drug Nuedexta need it? It turns out, probably not. But many elderly nursing home residents are being given the drug, with potentially deadly consequences.

What’s Nuedexta for?

Nuedexta is a little red pill that is approved for a rare condition that causes sudden, uncontrollable, and inappropriate laughing and crying. It’s called pseudobulbar affect, or PBA. You may have seen Danny Glover in the commercials for the drug.

But few people have this condition. In fact, fewer than 1% of the population has this condition. And almost all people who do have pseudobulbar affect have neurological conditions called ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or multiple sclerosis.

According to a recent report conducted by CNN, “[t]here has to be a diagnosis for every drug prescribed, and that diagnosis has to be real … it cannot be simply made up by a doctor,” said Kathryn Locatell, a geriatric physician who helps the California Department of Justice investigate cases of elder abuse in nursing homes. “There is little to no medical literature to support the drug’s use in nursing home residents (with dementia) — the population apparently being targeted.”

Last year, regulators found that more than 25% of nursing home residents in a In Los Angeles nursing home were being prescribed Nuedesta. Not surprisingly, this jump in prescribing occurred after the nursing home’s psychiatrist had attended a talk from the drug manufacturer’s reps. 
At another Southern California nursing home, an employee admitted to regulators that a diagnosis of PBA was given to a nursing home resident because they had to “somehow justify the use” of Nuedexta, even though its intended purpose was to control the resident’s “mood disturbances” and yelling out. Mood disturbances and yelling out, however, are not appropriate uses of the drug.

Why is Nuedexta prescribed to people in nursing homes?

A high pressure marketing campaign driven by an aggressive sales force and big money has convinced doctors to prescribe Nuedexta to patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia. But Alzheimer’s and dementia are completely different conditions fromhttp://www.cnn.com/2017/10/12/health/nuedexta-nursing-homes-invs/index.html PBA and they probably don’t need this medication.

Recent investigations have shown that “Since 2012, more than half of all Nuedexta pills have gone to long-term care facilities. The number of pills rose to roughly 14 million in 2016, a jump of nearly 400% in just four years, according to data obtained from QuintilesIMS, which tracks pharmaceutical sales. Total sales of Nuedexta reached almost $300 million that year.”

“Thousands of the doctors prescribing Nuedexta have received money, or at least a meal, from its maker — a legal but controversial practice in the industry. Between 2013 and 2016, Avanir and its parent company, Otsuka, paid doctors nearly $14 million for Nuedexta-related consulting, promotional speaking and other services, according to government data. The companies also spent $4.6 million on travel and dining costs, both for speakers and for doctors being targeted by salespeople.”

We previously reported on the use of chemical restraints in the elderly with Alzheimer’s and dementia. Doctors and nursing homes have been giving people with dementia and Alzheimer’s drugs to sedate them for generations. Alzheimer’s and dementia patients can be difficult to work with and require more time, attention, and patience than other patience.

Time, attention, and patience are rare commodities for nursing home aides and nurses due to frequent staffing concerns. Sedating these patients is an easy fix.

Nuedexta’s chemical makeup is a perfect fit for chemical sedation. Nuedexta is dextromethorphan, or DXM. This is the active ingredient in cough syrup that causes drowsiness and fatigue. But Nuedexta is not just the active ingredient in cough syrup. It is mixed with a drug called quinidine. This slows the metabolizing of the drug, which means that it packs a punch and lasts a long time in the body.

How would this medication improve the thought process of people with dementia and Alzheimer’s? That much is unknown. What is known is that it is sedating. And sedating medications in the elderly have proven dangerous time and time again resulting falls, heart and breathing problems, and many other problems.

Regardless of the drug used, the result is the same: sleepy, lethargic patients who fall and get injured, sometimes fatally. And this practice is not only dangerous but illegal!

Federal law prohibits the use of medications for “discipline” or “convenience” of staff, which is considered a “chemical restraint.”  A chemical restraint can only be used as a last resort to prevent an agitated patient from harming himself or others.  Ohio law also prevents the use of chemical restraints except in extreme circumstances.  Ohio’s Nursing Home Bill of Rights states that nursing home residents have the following rights:

“The right to be free from … chemical restraints … except to the minimum extent necessary to protect the resident from injury to self, others, or to property and except as authorized in writing by the attending physician for a specified and limited period of time and documented in the resident’s medical record.”

The manufacturer of Nuedexta – a company called Avanir Pharmaceuticals – admits that it has never fully addressed the consequences of the drug on the elderly in its prescribing information. This has led critics to conclude that the drug manufacturer is conducting an uncontrolled experiment on a captive elderly population.

“The one study the company conducted solely on patients with Alzheimer’s (a type of dementia) had 194 subjects and found that those on Nuedexta experienced falls at more than twice the rate as those on a placebo,” according to a recent report.

Who is paying for Nuedexta in the elderly?

In large part, the federal government is footing the bill to inappropriately prescribe Nuedexta to elderly people without PBA. Why is that? Because Medicare Part D and Medicaid (a program shared by the federal and state governments) pay the vast majority of medical care in the elderly.

This means that not only is the government paying for the drug but also for any harm the patient suffers from the side effects of the medication.


Premises Liability in Ohio: What are My Rights?

Shared by Frank Gallucci | Plevin & Gallucci Company, L.P.A. 

www.plevinandgallucci.com/legal-news-blog


A premises liability lawsuit is one involving an injury caused by some dangerous condition on another person’s property. According to a 2005 study by the U.S. Department of Justice, premises liability lawsuits are among the most common personal injury cases decided by juries in the United States.

These kinds of lawsuits are commonly known as “slip and fall” lawsuits, but they can be caused by many different kinds of problems, such as:

  • Slipping or tripping hazards, such as a spilled liquid or uneven floor;
  • Falling hazards, such as holes or large drop-offs;
  • Overhead dangers, such as old branches or store inventory stacked too high;
  • Mechanical hazards, such as an exposed electrical wire or malfunctioning equipment.

In Ohio, your ability to recover damages for injuries you suffered in a premises liability action is determined largely by how you came to be in the place where you were injured. This is because Ohio continues to use an archaic system of deciding what duties a property owner owes to those on his or her property. In this post, we briefly discuss the general rules of Ohio premises liability and some important exceptions.

The Elements of Premises Liability

Like most other personal injury claims, premises liability lawsuits are negligence actions. As in other negligence actions, to prevail in a premises liability lawsuit you must generally prove that:

  • The defendant owed you a duty;
  • The defendant breached that duty; and
  • The defendant’s breach was the cause
  • Of damages to you.

Normally in personal injury lawsuits, that first element — duty — is straightforward. Every driver has a duty to drive in a reasonably safe manner, for instance.

However, the duty element is not so simple in premises liability cases. In such cases, a defendant’s duty to a plaintiff depends on how the plaintiff came to be on the defendant’s property. In general, Ohio law recognizes three primary statuses for plaintiffs: invitee, licensee, and trespasser.

1. Invitee

An invitee is someone who rightfully comes onto another’s property by invitation for some purpose which is beneficial to the owner. For example, when a shopper goes to the supermarket to buy groceries, the shopper is the supermarket’s invitee.

With respect to an invitee, a landowner must exercise ordinary care for the invitee’s safety and protection. This includes a duty to warn of dangers on the property that the invitee cannot be reasonably expected to discover for themselves. For example, supermarkets must exercise ordinary care to discover and clean any spills in their aisles, and to warn customers of the spills until they can clean them.

Exception: Open and Obvious Dangers

When a danger is “open and obvious,” a landowner owes no duties with respect to that danger. A danger is open and obvious when it is such that an invitee (or licensee or trespasser) can reasonably be expected to discover it and protect themselves against it.

Exception: Recreational Users

Under O.R.C. § 1533.181, owners, lessees, and occupants of nonresidential premises owe no duty to a recreational user to keep the premises safe for entry or use. Arecreational useris:

A person to whom permission has been granted, without the payment of a fee or consideration . . . other than . . . a lease payment or fee . . . to enter upon premises to hunt, fish, trap, camp, hike, or swim, or to operate a snowmobile, all-purpose vehicle, or four-wheel drive motor vehicle, or to engage in other recreational pursuits.

2. Licensee

A licensee is someone who enters another’s premises by permission or acquiescence for his or her own pleasure or benefit. For example, if the owner of a parking lot permits free use of his or her lot on Sundays without encouraging such use, the Sunday users of the parking lot are licensees.

A landowner owes licensees only the duty to refrain from willfully, wantonly, or recklessly causing injury. If the landowner knows that the licensee is present on his or her land, then he must use ordinary care to avoid injuring the licensee, including by warning of hidden dangers.

3. Trespasser

A trespasser is someone who enters another’s property without authorization, for his or her own purposes or convenience. A landowner generally owes the same duties to a trespasser as to a licensee.

Exception: Attractive Nuisance

Since 2001, the Ohio courts have recognized the doctrine of “attractive nuisance,” which is designed to give children who trespass greater protections than adult trespassers. Specifically, this doctrine applies when a trespassing child is injured by an artificial condition on the land and:

  • The condition exists in a place where the landowner knows or has reason to know children are likely to trespass;
  • The landowner knows or should know that the condition poses an unreasonable risk of death or serious bodily harm to trespassing children;
  • The children do not discover the condition or do not realize the risk that it poses because of their youth;
  • The utility of maintaining the condition and the burden of eliminating it are slight compared to the risk posed to the children; and
  • The landowner fails to exercise reasonable care to eliminate the danger or otherwise protect the children.

Example: In Bennett v. Stanley, the case in which the Ohio Supreme Court adopted the “attractive nuisance” doctrine, a 5-year-old boy drowned in his neighbors’ unattended, unmaintained, and unprotected swimming pool. The boy was trying to investigate the frogs that lived in the pool. The Court found the landowner to have a duty to the child.

Have you been injured on someone else’s property?

Premises liability is a surprisingly complicated area of personal injury law. Even aspects that in other contexts might be taken for granted are subject to arcane and technical rules.


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Bicyclist or Cyclist Ticketed for a Traffic Offense Cannot have Points Assessed by the BMV on Bike Rider’s Driver’s License. Ohio Statute: Ohio Revised Code (O.R.C.) §4511.52.  

Shared by Kenneth Knabe | Knabe, Brown & Szaller Co. LPA

brownandszaller.com/blog


Under Ohio Law, a bicycle is defined as a vehicle: a cyclist must obey all traffic rules applicable to vehicles. Ohio Rev. Code Ann. (ORC) §§4501.01(A) & 4511.01(A).  For example, a cyclist must stop at red lights and stop signs (ORC §4511.43); yield to pedestrians on a sidewalk (ORC §4511.441; and ride in the direction of road traffic (ORC §4511.25). By the way, cyclists that follow traffic laws are in 75-80% fewer accidents

Here is the important often overlooked part. Many police and municipal or mayor’s courts still to this day wrongly fail to recognize that no points can be assessed on the driver’s license of a cyclist who commits a traffic offense, other than riding under the influence. O.R.C. §4511.52.  All cyclists should be careful about waiving a court appearance on a bicycle traffic citation unless the cyclist is sure that no points will be assessed by the BMV. 


New Webcast—Market Your Law Firm to Millennial Consumers

Shared by FindLaw 

Click here to register for Webcast


On November 7th FindLaw will host an exclusive webcast for OAJ and NCAJ members on millennial legal consumers and their particular way of researching and solving legal needs. Millennials make legal hiring decisions quite differently than their parents and grandparents did. Fortunately, law firms don’t need to toss out their current playbook to reach this generation.

Millennials were raised on the internet, were early adopters of social media and started reading blogs when they were young. Traditional marketing approaches might not appeal to this more tech savvy generation. More than 40 percent of millennials believe tweets and Facebook posts from attorneys are important. On top of that, they trust blogs to do their legal research at twice the rate as the average legal consumer. These two areas alone set them apart from their baby boomer or Gen X counterparts.

Join us for a webcast on November 7th where you’ll learn more about the factors that influence millennial buying decisions and how to tailor your digital marketing efforts to their unique needs.

This webcast will cover:

Where millennials differ from the average legal consumer, the channels millennials prefer and marketing to the millennial legal consumer.


Road Check: Are Big Trucks Safe?

Shared by Michael Leizerman | Leizerman & Associates LLC

blog.truckaccidents.com


This past June, certified commercial motor vehicle inspectors in the U.S. and Canada joined together in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 30th annual International Roadcheck. During a three day period covering June 6-8, enforcement personnel conducted over 62,000 safety inspections (over 54,000 in the U.S. alone) of both vehicles and drivers of large trucks and buses at weigh stations, inspection sites and along the roadways of North America.

The results? Not too encouraging, considering that almost one in four tractor-trailer rigs on the roads today shouldn’t be—specifically in that they were unable to pass Level I inspection standards as set forth by the CVSA. These parameters include but aren’t limited to:

  • Vehicle’s brake system
  • Cargo securement
  • Operation of all vehicle lights
  • Steering mechanism
  • Structural integrity of vehicle frame
  • Tire and tread condition

So how is it that 23 percent of all vehicles inspected were unable to pass these basics—causing them to be removed from service on the spot? These are not mere “warning” offenses, but major infractions that violate the legal requirements for operating a large commercial vehicle. Elevating the level of incredulousness is that this long-running event is well-known and anticipated by the industry; the CVSA actually promoted the event with specific dates as early as March—yet, many of the vehicles inspected were found to not be compliant.

It is interesting to note that this event coincides with a crucial point in time for the industry, one where previous practices might get relegated to the past for good as carriers look to technology to keep their trucks moving. In response, some drivers are incensed to the point of planning a protest in Washington D.C. during the first week of October, fighting for the ratification of a trucker’s “bill of rights.”

Few deny that there are major issues within the industry that are “broken” and need fixing—but, so far, it’s obvious that the carriers, drivers and regulators all have differing agendas. While a viable solution could be just around the bend, the CVSA road check event reminds us that, in the meantime, we need to improve the safety of our highways.


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About the Blog
OAJ Blog Central showcases informative blog posts from law firms and trial attorneys throughout Ohio. 

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Recent Posts:
CSX Employment Test Faces Discrimination Challenge
Waking up to the Dangers of Falling Asleep Behind the Wheel
Why do People Keep Texting and Driving?
Ohio Employer Required Posters
Woman Confronted with Misdiagnosis Still has Medical Bills

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