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Huntington Legal Issues Blog

VA scandal continues to grow

The Veterans Health Administration scandal has dragged on since 2014, when various media outlets began reporting that VA hospitals were failing to make appointments for vets needing health care -- and worse, some vets were dying while waiting to see doctors.

The news out of the Department of Veterans Affairs continues to be bad: USA Today recently reported that doctors are being hired to work at VA hospitals even when they have histories of medical malpractice claims against them and have been disciplined for administering substandard care to their patients.

The dangerous side of holiday cheer

December has arrived, which means in West Virginia that people are preparing for holiday get-togethers with friends and family. We hope that everyone who will attend holiday parties and consume alcohol will do so responsibly and help to ensure that all of us can get home safely to enjoy this special time of year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that on average, 29 people die in the U.S. in alcohol-impaired automobile crashes. That works out to about one person every 50 minutes.

How a missed diagnosis altered a man's life

It's an all-day, eight-hour drive from Huntington to Franklin County, Missouri. That is where a jury recently decided that a 55-year-old man should receive more than $12.5 million in a medical negligence lawsuit he filed against two hospital doctors and others.

A news outlet reported that the total includes past economic damages, past noneconomic damages, future noneconomic damages and future medical damages.

A familiar story that should never have to be told

Though we here in Huntington are far from where a heartbreaking wreck occurred, we know that similarly senseless tragedies happen far too often on our own city's streets. The story begins with a little girl: sweet, passionate, tender-hearted, her friends and family say. The familiar tale continues with a 26-year-old Chicago area man who had been drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana; he was feeling good and driving fast. Their lives intersected on an October night a little more than a year ago.

His Cadillac Deville veered across the center line and into the path of the 9-year-old's mom's minivan. Her mother swerved to try to avoid the oncoming car, but the speeding vehicle slammed into the side of the van. After the violent collision, he ran from the scene of the accident. The little girl was taken by ambulance to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

The ugly side of cosmetic surgery

Everyone wants to look their best. For some of us, looking our best and feeling good about how we look involves cosmetic surgery. The most common cosmetic procedures include breast augmentation, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelifts, facelifts and Botox injections.

You probably know someone here in Huntington who has had one of the procedures performed (though you might not know it). Though the listed procedures are considered safe and routine, risks are always present -- especially when a doctor is negligent. We read recently of a cosmetic surgeon accused by multiple patients of negligence, incompetence and more.

West Virginia truck crash kills woman, critically injures another

It is a more than six-hour drive from Huntington to the small West Virginia town of Middleway. The Jefferson County site was where two women were driving east on W.Va. 51 one recent morning. Approaching from the west was a dump truck with a bad tire.

As the Chevrolet Cruze the women were in and the dump truck were about to pass by each other, the front left tire on the truck blew out. The truck veered into the eastbound lane, smashing into the small passenger vehicle. The 36-year-old woman driving was killed in the violent truck wreck; the 35-year-old passenger sustained injuries that left her in critical condition, officials said.

Search on for West Virginia driver who ran after hitting pedestrian

The Guyandotte River winds for more than 160 miles through West Virginia. The scenic waterway is not a fitting resting place for a human body, however.

Logan County sheriff’s deputies are looking for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a 36-year-old woman whose body was later found in the river. Officials do not yet know why the driver fled the scene, though it is known that it many similar cases, drivers flee pedestrian accidents because they were intoxicated at the time of the crash. In other cases, the drivers were speeding or distracted or similarly negligent.

Family grateful for justice in medical malpractice judgment

The story begins with a beautiful image of the woman holding her newborn baby in her arms. Sitting up on her hospital bed, she and her husband beam as she cradles their son.

Less than a week later, the 30-year-old new mother was dead. Almost four years to the day of her death, a jury unanimously declared that her family should receive a judgment of more than $20 million in their medical malpractice lawsuit.

Federal trial could impact West Virginia medical malpractice claims

Can an insurer rescind insurance if the policy-holder lies about the illegal activities of the people at the business being insured? And if the policy is rescinded, should the insurer refund the premiums paid for the rescinded policy?

Those are just two of the questions that observers expect will be an answered in a federal trial revolving around an insurer's attempt to rescind a clinic's medical malpractice policy. The verdict might well have implications for West Virginia insurers, doctors, hospitals, clinics and patients.

Family settles for $15 million in heartbreaking birth injury case

Regular readers of our Huntington Legal Issues Blog know that we believe few things in life are more heart-breaking than birth injuries. When a birth injury is caused by doctor negligence, the pain for the family is even more acute.

A suburban Chicago hospital recently agreed to a $15 million settlement of a medical malpractice lawsuit with the family of a 6-year-old girl who suffered severe, lifelong brain damage during delivery.

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