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Indiana Court of Appeals Rules Contractor Responsible for Subcontractor’s Negligence

The Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that a general contractor was responsible for its subcontractor’s negligent installation of a projection screen in a high school classroom during school renovations. Our client, a high school science teacher, suffered a severe injury after a classroom projection screen came off the hooks holding it to the ceiling and struck her in the head. We alleged that the screen was improperly installed with the S-hooks left open, allowing for the screen to jump off the hooks. The lower court ruled that the general contractor owed no duty to the teacher because a subcontractor physically hung the projection screen. WKW attorneys Bruce Kehoe and Chris Stevenson successfully appealed the ruling, with the Indiana Court of Appeals holding that the general contractor had assumed responsibility for its subcontractor’s negligence in its construction contract with the school. As a result, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and ruled that the general contractor must accept responsibility for its subcontractor’s negligence. This opinion helps reinforce Indiana’s commitment to job site safety.

Failure to Perform Emergency C-Section Causes Permanent Neurological Damages in Baby

A baby suffered severe and permanent brain injury and motor function impairment when doctors failed to perform a timely Cesarean section delivery. Our client was admitted to the hospital for an induction of her labor due to concerns for post-dates and the baby being large for his gestational age. During the course of the afternoon, there were decelerations and late decelerations leading to repeated long runs of decreased variability over the course of the evening. By midnight, the condition was truly life threatening and required emergency intervention. However, that did not happen.

The on-call doctor was delayed in his management and in addressing the increasing obstetrical emergency. Finally, at approximately 1:00 am, the on-call doctor recognized the emergent conditions and ordered preparation for a C-section delivery, yet failed to perform the surgery until 1:42 am. The infant was born with poor Apgar scores, and seizures followed. The infant’s motor activity and muscle tone were flaccid, and he was diagnosed with HIE (hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy). He will indefinitely receive intensive speech, occupational, and physical therapies. He will require special education services at school and will never know what it’s like to drive a car or live independently.

Tire Failure Case Partially Settled

An accident that resulted in the death of a young woman in college and injuries to both her parents and younger brother has been settled with several defendants. The settling defendants are the auto parts store that sold the defective tire, a store that allegedly negligently mounted the tire on the rim, and a company that retreaded the tire. The tire suffered a tread separation on the interstate, which caused the pickup truck on which it had been mounted to cross the median and crash into a vehicle coming the other direction on the interstate. Numerous depositions were taken out of state to establish the chain of events that led to the tragic accident. The case is continuing against other defendants, including the tire manufacturer and the company which was the licensor of the retreader.

Case Partially Settled for Injured Motorcyclists in Four Months

A case against the driver of a car that pulled out in front of a motorcyclist and his passenger in Northern Indiana has been partially settled for the limits of available liability insurance within four months of the crash. WKW was able to obtain the rapid settlement by immediately requesting medical bills and records from the hospital and doctors, submitting them to the insurance carrier, and negotiating down the required payback to the health insurer who paid the medical expenses. The quick partial settlement allowed the motorcyclist to continue operation of his businesses. The case will now proceed as an underinsured motorist claim due to the serious injuries suffered by the motorcyclists and lack of enough insurance on the part of the driver of the car.

Power Outage at Hospital Prompts Personal Injury Suit

WKW recently filed suit against a hospital, construction company, and an electrical contractor for failing to consider the potential danger of the hospital’s expansion project on the safety and well-being of the patients. In this particular case, the firm will represent an individual who was under anesthesia during spinal fusion surgery when a power outage occurred, resulting in injury to his spinal cord.

Bone Loss Drug Fosamax Faces Litigation for Dangerous Side Effects

Fosamax is a prescription medication manufactured by Merck & Co., Inc. The drug and its generic counterpart Alendronate are used to treat osteoporosis, a condition in which the body experiences a reduction in bone mass due to depletion of calcium and bone protein. This condition often occurs in older people, especially menopausal women.

Fosamax belongs to a group of drugs known as biphosphonates, which are designed to slow down the process of bone loss by limiting the activity of cells called osteoclasts that break down bone. First approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1995, the drug is increasingly coming under fire for serious side effects from prolonged use, including significantly increased risk of fractures to the femur due to thinning of the bone structure. Some patients have experienced severe compound fractures of the femur while doing routine tasks such as walking down the stairs or jumping rope. Fosamax use has also been linked to osteonecrosis of the jaw, a condition in which the bones of the jaw painfully decay and die. This dreaded result can cause the bones of the jaw to become exposed inside the mouth, leading to infection of the jaw bone.

Merck’s original package warnings gave no indication of side effects related to weakening or thinning of bone mass or osteonecrosis. After the FDA inquired into the issue in 2008, Merck updated its packaging to include language that specifies a risk of “femoral shaft fractures.” The most severe injuries have been associated with long-term use of Fosamax for five or more years.

WKW has decades of product liability experience involving pharmaceutical litigation. If you or a loved one have been taking Fosamax and have experienced any significant side effects or injuries you feel were related to the use of Fosamax, we would like to hear from you. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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