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Litigation Surrounding Essure Birth Control

Posted on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 at 11:13 am    

The following post is part of our Law Student Blog Writing Project, and is authored by James Haney, a Juris Doctor student at NKU Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University.

Essure Birth Control

A Look at the Lawsuits Over Complications with Essure Birth Control

Birth control has been a method of female contraception for decades. In 1960, Enovid, the first oral birth control pill for women was patented. Since then, birth control has been a billion dollar industry, with no signs of slowing, as society becomes more liberal in its view of sex. More recently, IUDs (Intrauterine Devices) have become a mainstream alternative to a daily pill, an injection, or a patch. Essure, a Bayer product, is one of the most recent designs on the market. Unfortunately, though Essure is marketed as a permanent solution to birth control, some women are finding themselves in need of even more permanent procedure, in the form of a hysterectomy.

Marketing is one of the most important aspects of the success of any product, second only to, I would argue, the effectiveness of the product. Though, there is a case to be made that marketing is the most important. Numerous studies have been done on the science of marketing, as effective marketing is inexorably linked to monetary success. An interesting aspect of the Bayer page, is the methodical use of color. Numerous studies have been done on the effects of color on the human brain. It was found, in one specific study, that people taking the same sleep aid reacted differently to it, based on the color of the pill. Blue, green, purple, and other colors on the cooler side of the spectrum have been found to produce calmness and ease of mind, even without any chemical actors. This is why the inside of life rafts tend to be blue. Conversely, red, orange, yellow, and other colors on the warmer end tend to create a sense of excitement, or action. Essure has been marketed with blues and purples, suggesting a calmness to what could be considered a minor procedure. Essure is called the “only permanent birth control with a non-surgical procedure.”

By and large, the majority of the webpage for Essure is safety information, though. On the front page of every individual webpage for various Beyer products is a full list of medical and safety warnings. From 2009 to 2010, settlements by pharmaceutical companies totaled $8.6 billion. Needless to say, avoiding lawsuits is a positive business practice for companies. Ensuring the safety of a product goes a long way towards that end. Listed in the medical warnings for Essure is a warning suggesting that it is possible for the device to migrate within the woman’s body, which could require surgery to remove. What is not mentioned, is the extent of the surgery that is often required.

The idea behind Essure is that the device is placed into the Fallopian tubes, where scar tissue will amass, blocking contraception. The IUD is made of two metal coils. This is difficult to explain without it sounding like a medieval torture device, but the procedures (even the ones requiring surgery) to implant the devices are relatively painless, and simple outpatient procedures. A hysterectomy is significantly less benign. It involves the removal of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and potentially the ovaries. It typically has a lengthy recovery process. With the advent and continued improvement of modern medicine, the surgery is much less intrusive now, but is still a procedure only performed as a last resort, when there are no other options.

While litigation against Essure has only recently begun in any official capacity, complaints about the product are far from new. Thousands of women have reportedly experienced side effects including hysterectomies as aforementioned, colon perforations, unexpected pregnancies, depression, and weight gain. Some have also reported side effects such as burning or itching due to a nickel allergy. For other women, scans have revealed that the device had, in fact, disappeared altogether.

The first lawsuit against Bayer, in regards to Essure, was filed in Philadelphia in 2014, asserting that Bayer had mislead women about the simplicity and safety of the device, and violating the conditions of its premarket approval by the FDA. Premarket approval is a process by which a company can get approval from the FDA more quickly, allowing the product to hit the market sooner. Time is money, as the adage goes. Heather Walsh, the plaintiff in the action, also claimed that the doctor who did the procedure was ill-trained by Bayer, evidenced by the fact that three metal coils, as opposed to the correct two, were inserted. According to the complaint, the coils migrated out of her Fallopian tubes and led to five hospitalizations, a hysterectomy, and auto-immune and adhesion disorders. This case then beat federal preemption on March 22, 2016. What this means, is that the federal courts have deemed cases against Essure to be actionable, and will not step in to stop litigation (at least in the realm of product liability, as is the case here).

A simple Google search of current actions being levied against Essure reveals a number of advertisements to join class-action suits against the brand, and against Bayer. In fact, Erin Brockovich, the subject of 2000 film chronicling her role in the case against Pacific Gas and Electric Company in 1993, is spearheading a campaign against Essure. Ms. Brockovich states that, “It is a woman’s right to decide for herself if she wants a certain form of birth control but when they are not told of the devastating side effects, well that isn’t right.”

There is actually a social media group, who call themselves “E-sisters,” who have bonded together over the shared experience of being injured by Essure. Another group, more easily counted, on Facebook, called “Essure Problems,” has over 27,000 members. Since 2002, the FDA has received over 5,000 complaints about Essure, dating back to before Bayer bought the rights to the product, but most of them coming after the buyout. Likely, this has more to do with the ability of Bayer to effectively market and get a product into the market than it does with Bayer being negligent. Of course there will be more complaints when more people are accessing something. In a case such as this, where so many are alleging damage incurred, a class-action lawsuit is most common. A class-action lawsuit involves a large group asserting the same claim against the same defendant. If damages are levied against the defendant, in favor of the group, the awards are then divided up equally amongst the plaintiffs. Recently, almost comically, Red Bull settled a class-action suit, and awarded anyone who had used Red Bull the ability to pick up a certain amount of products for free, through the use of a voucher. So, basically, “Since you won the case against our product, we’re going to award you free amounts of said product.” Normally, though, it’s actual money, as was the case in 2004 in a $149 million settlement with Bridgestone for its Firestone tires.

A number of different forms of damages may be sought against Essure (damages being awards, typically monetary, given to those who claim to have been injured by a product). Most often, as just stated, damages in products liability cases are monetary. The idea is to make a person “whole.” Basically, return a person to their state of being before being injured. Damages may include medical costs, wages lost, future earning potential lost, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and even punitive awards, which are designed to punish the wrongdoer, rather than make the injured person whole. These various claims all have different degrees of difficulty in proving, but they are all within the realm of possibility, and the list is not exhaustive. In a 2014 wrongful death lawsuit against RJ Reynolds, a Florida jury awarded more than $23 billion in punitive damages to the widow of a former smoker.

Bayer may not be the only person (person being used in the legal sense that corporations are considered people, for the ability to be prosecuted) in danger of being sued, though. Kim Meyers, in an interview with BBC News, claimed she was pressured by her doctor to get Essure. She then suffered pelvic pain for three years, which had farther reaching implications than simply being uncomfortable. Meyers said, “[When I complained, my doctor] told me, ‘You’re a silly little woman, you’re hormonal.’” Doctors are absolutely in the crosshairs for some of these claims.

The case in Pennsylvania really opens up the door for future claims. I would suggest that there is simply no telling where the cases will land, or even if they will be allowed to be brought, but such a conjecture has been removed from the realm of possibility. Frankly, it seems to me that Bayer is in pretty serious trouble for damage inflicted by Essure. Mass litigation is only just underway, so it will probably be years before anything of any consequence comes to pass. Major news outlets will probably begin picking up on the story before too long. Were I a betting man (I am), I would say that the cases will likely end up being settled by Bayer. The money involved in a settlement usually doesn’t make or break a major company, but the money lost due to bad press can be very detrimental. I would expect to start seeing more and more as things come more into the realm of the collective public consciousness. Right now, though, “We’ve only just begun.”

How Much Will Your Payments Be in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy?

Posted on Monday, April 25th, 2016 at 1:25 pm    

For Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Chapter 13 bankruptcy filers, Justin Lawrence from Lawrence & Associates helps you estimate how a Chapter 13 payment to the bankruptcy trustee is made. Knowing how much you might have to pay will give you peace of mind. Don’t worry when you can get more facts about your Chapter 13 bankruptcy payment and be sure this is the right path for you!

Felony Expungement in Kentucky

Posted on Friday, April 22nd, 2016 at 10:18 am    

The following post is part of our Law Student Blog Writing Project, and is authored by James Haney, a Juris Doctor student at NKU Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University.

Felony Expungement in Kentucky:

The Pros and Cons of the New Bill

As both an introduction and a caveat, felony expungement is a thing I am very much a proponent of. It is my personal belief that the expungement of felonies is a far greater idea than the expungement of rights. The tone of this post is somewhat more personal, but I think that is an appropriate tone for a subject that may well affect such a vast number of people, either directly or indirectly. Criminal law is fascinating to me, mostly because of the ramifications of every case. Each decision has far reaching effects, be they on the lives on the side of the defendant or those on the side of the aggrieved. Regardless of one’s stance on felony expungement, it should not be a reaching statement to say that not all felonies are equal. Murder is quite obviously a more serious crime in the eyes of society than possession of marijuana.

prison-barsThe goal of felony expungement is to allow former felons a chance at regaining some normality in life. Felons are regularly turned away from jobs, are not allowed to vote, and are banned from possessing firearms, among other limitations. Aside from the legal implications, the inability to find a job, in many instances, creates a virtual necessity for crime, in the eyes of some, especially those affected. Expungement, then, works much the same way for felonies as it does for juveniles, with somewhat different requirements. Typically, expungement based on minority takes place automatically when the violator reaches the age of majority. Felony expungement normally requires a person act in a certain manner for a certain amount of time, and is often limited as to what felonies may be expunged. Once a felony is expunged, that person is gifted a second chance in the form of a clean (in regards to the felony in question) record.

It would seem that the Kentucky Legislature has also taken the stance that felony expungement is a good idea. House Bill 40 was passed, earlier this month, by the General Assembly in an 80-11 vote. In the world of partisan politics, it is rare that such a prominent bill gets passed with so much support.

Governor Bevin ran with the promise that he would support the bill, and has followed through. The bill applies to sixty-one (61) Class D felonies. These include possession of a controlled substance, theft, felony speeding, and failure to pay child support, among others. Anyone who the bill applies to will have to go five (5) years without a conviction, and pay a $500 fine. The bill works by allowing the justice system to basically reopen the case of an offender, vacate the conviction, then expunge in entirely from the record, making it as if the felony never existed.

Republican senator, and president of the Kentucky Senate, Robert Stivers, states the bill will allow applicants to jobs to say that they have never been convicted of a felony, and do so honestly.

Much of the debate took place back in January, when the bill passed the Kentucky House of Representatives. One of the major concerns was how vague the term “non-violent crime” can be. As the bill stood, the only Class-D felonies not applicable for expungement were sex trafficking, elder abuse, child pornography, prostitution, and abuse of public trust. One can see why these, though technically non-violent, would not be able to be expunged under the bill. Rep. Stan Lee, of Lexington, contended that reckless homicide, terroristic threatening, animal abuse, and staking are all omitted from the list, though most would likely consider these all to be violent crimes. Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders made the case for judicial discretion. This would give a judge the ability to decide whether or not to allow for expungement of a particular felony. Kentucky basketball is something of a religion in the state, and Sanders made the point that burning down Rupp Arena would be a Class-D felony as 3rd degree arson. This is the sort of thing that might not be quite so simply expunged as setting fire to a public dumpster. It is easy to see where judicial review would be a useful tool in the hands of the legal system.

Representative Lee also argued that the bill fails to allow judges to take into account the circumstances surrounding the crime. This does, in effect, make all crimes of the same name equal, which they are not, as evidenced above. Another concern lies in the fact that there is no way for the state to keep track of expungements across jurisdictions. Therefore, judges would have no way to know if a person was to have multiple felonies expunged over multiple hearings years apart.

Proponents of the bill, however, have argued many of the same points listed earlier in this article. Most notably, this bill allows people to put themselves back into the workforce. Another complaint of the bill is the cost it will levy on the courts. The rebuttal to this is that working citizens pay taxes. These same taxes go toward paying for the courts, and the rest of the justice system. In some sense, at least, successful petitioners will be paying for their own expungement. Senator Whitney Westerfield, of Hopkinsville, was swayed by this same argument made by a former convict. West Powell testified before the legislature, and described how difficult it was for him to keep, much less find, work, after being convicted of a felony. His crime was stealing car radios. This is exactly the sort of thing that has the ability to ruin a person’s life, but has no reason to.

It does seem to be important to allow for judicial review of each situation. No two cases are the same, and it is ridiculous to assume as much. Giving a judge the ability to hear each case, look at the circumstances, and make a decision based on the findings is a much better idea than a blanket policy.

In all, it is my opinion that this bill is, at least, a step in the right direction. People make mistakes, and what a society considers legal or illegal, moral or immoral, changes constantly. To deprive a person of the ability to exist as a contributor to society for minute crimes is a travesty. Consider voting. Voting is one of the most sacred rights in the culture of the United States. However, being convicted of a felony deprives a person of this very right. Such a hallowed right can be taken away, forever, for something so trivial as stealing a radio. The new bill allows a person to earn this right back, and rejoin the greater public. The bill has passed, so now the game becomes one of waiting and watching, as we see exactly how the policy will unfold. Hopefully, it is for the best.

Jury Dismissal on Racial Grounds

Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2016 at 10:01 am    

The following post is part of our Law Student Blog Writing Project, and is authored by James Haney, a Juris Doctor student at NKU Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University.

Jury Dismissal on Racial Grounds

The Constitutional Implications of Judge Olu Stevens’s Jury Dismissal

To say the least, race has come back to the forefront of the collective American mind. Racial division is rampant in the media, especially the news. Strife sells. In Louisville, Kentucky, race has placed itself at the core of a current case being heard by the Kentucky Court of Appeals. Judge Olu Stevens dismissed a jury panel, citing a lack of racial diversity as the reason for wiping clean the pool. The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office then appealed the decision, which is now up for review. There is, no doubt, a constitutional issue to be raised.

In order to better understand the case, both the history of the case, the Constitution, and some Kentucky law needs to be examined.

The case in question involves one Charles Evans Jr. Evans was arrested and convicted of robbery and assault. When a jury is involved, the jury must first be selected. In this case, forty-one (41) members of the community were selected, at random, to be a part of the jury selection pool. Of those, three (3) were black.

This is where a major contention comes in from Judge Stevens. The fifth (5th) amendment to the United States Constitution provides that no civilian shall be denied due process. That is to say, anyone not in the military has a legal right to civilian court proceedings, before the state may deprive such a person of their life, liberty, or property. The sixth (6th) amendment, then, goes on to speak to criminal prosecutions. Accordingly, “the accused shall enjoy the right to a…public trial, by an impartial jury…” This is where the idea of a jury of one’s own peers comes form. The idea being that, because the United States is an amalgamation of cultures, peoples, beliefs, etc., then a jury should represent that same diversity. Judge Stevens’s dismissal of the jury pool is grounded in this part of the Bill of Rights. In his eyes, it seems, three (3) out of forty-one (41) is not an accurate cross-section of the people of Louisville.

The Constitution of Kentucky provides that no person has a right to a jury of any particular composition, merely that there may be no systematic exclusion, resulting in a reasonably representative jury. This is how the 6th Amendment of the United States Constitution has been interpreted, as well.

Since the dismissal, Judge Allison Jones, an Appeals judge in Kentucky, has ruled that Evans’s case will not be heard until the Court of Appeals has the opportunity to determine whether or not Stevens’s assertion was valid. This makes sense, as an appeal based on lack of racial diversity of the jury would be a virtual certainty, regardless.

Interestingly, though not necessarily relevant to the 6th amendment claim by Judge Stevens, a 1st amendment complaint has been raised by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office. Judge Stevens placed a gag order on the prosecution and defense, forbidding either side from speaking about the proceedings. The order has been deemed improper by an undisclosed First Amendment attorney. This is, of course, only the person’s opinion, and not representative of any official stance being taken by the state, as of yet.

According to the prosecution, there is no evidence of any purposeful discrimination. It is worth noting that this is not the first time Judge Stevens and this Commonwealth’s Office have crossed paths. The Supreme Court of Kentucky has agreed to hear allegations that the judge was abusing his power, dismissing juries because he deemed them not inclusive enough. In November of 2015, Judge Stevens dismissed a jury for a theft case, citing that he found it “troublesome” that there were no black members of the 13-person jury. In this case, too, the defendant was black. Stevens is also facing six (6) charges of misconduct, stemming from the same ongoing feud between the judge and the commonwealth attorney. The hearings are scheduled for April 19.

Castaneda v. Partida, a Texas case that made its way to the US Supreme Court, deals with a similar situation, but farther down the line in the legal proceedings. On the petition of the state to be heard by the Supreme Court, it was noted that, although Mexican-Americans comprised roughly 79% of the population in which the jury pool was draw from, in an eleven (11) year period, only 39% of potential jurors had been Mexican-American. From this case, it can be seen where Judge Stevens might have a legitimate grievance. Were this case the only authority, it would likely boil down to previous jury selections as compared to the general population of the county. However, this is only a single case, and would likely be used only in the same capacity in which it is used here: as an example. A single example does not an argument make.

It is my belief that the appeal made by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office will fail or succeed based on previous jury pools. If it can be shown, such as in Castaneda, that there is a history of disproportionality, then the dismissal will likely stand. However, if no such trend appears, then such cases will be seen as anomalies, rather than the norm. According to the US Census taken in July 2015, the population of Jefferson County is around 760,000. The most recent racial data comes from one year prior, in 2014, and places the white population at about 73%, and the black population at about 21%. Judging purely on those numbers, which is admittedly an oversimplification of a much more nuanced dispersion, then about one of every four jury members would be black. Clearly, in the case of this discussion, such is not the case. Again, it will almost certainly come down to what patterns are shown to occur. If such disparity happens often enough that the Court of Appeals deems it alarming, then not only will the dismissal stand, but there may well be an investigation opened. However, if no pattern of discrimination reveals itself, Judge Stevens may be asked to take a leave of absence.

Such a case is sure to have lasting effects on the criminal law system of Kentucky, and, quite possibly, on the rest of the country. Race based cases tend to find their way into the annals of nationally recognized law. This is very much an ongoing case. Something of this level of importance is destined to be heard in more than one appeal. Currently, there simply is not enough information available to the public at large in order to form an informed opinion as to the legitimacy of Judge Stevens’s claim, or to the claim of the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office of Jefferson County. Right now, it is anyone’s game, so to speak, with clarity coming through further revelation of facts.

Two Steps to Preserve a Claim When a Tortfeasor Files a Bankruptcy

Posted on Thursday, April 14th, 2016 at 10:07 am    

Check out this article written by Justin Lawrence, in which he discusses how an injured person can preserve their claim when the person who hurt them files for bankruptcy.  Many lawyers cannot practice in both bankruptcy and in injury areas of practice (such as personal injury, workers’ compensation, and social security disability).  Lawrence & Associates has experience in each of these areas of practice, which gives our attorneys a unique and comprehensive perspective when these worlds collide.

If you have been injured or have been put on notice about a bankruptcy, click here to read this article for more information!

The Difference Between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

Posted on Tuesday, April 12th, 2016 at 11:16 am    

In this video, Justin Lawrence from Lawrence & Associates describes the basic differences between Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 bankruptcy in a nutshell.

Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcies are the kinds of bankruptcy that are available to most consumer debtors, which includes nearly every individual filing bankruptcy. Learn the length of time you could be in each kind of bankruptcy, the restrictions on filing each type of bankruptcy, and the requirements for each type of bankruptcy once it is filed.

Watch the video for more details!

The Tort of Negligent Credentialing

Posted on Thursday, April 7th, 2016 at 12:34 pm    

The following post is part of our Law Student Blog Writing Project, and is authored by James Haney, a Juris Doctor student at NKU Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University.

The Tort of Negligent Credentialing:

A Look at a New Law in Kentucky, Regarding the Credentialing of Independent Physicians

Employees are, traditionally, under the umbrella of responsibility carried by their employers. Basically, if an employee behaves in a negligent way, while acting in regards to the job, then the employer is held equally responsible. Think of it this way: one would not want to hire a toddler to design a building. The ensuing catastrophe would be equally the fault of the person who decided that would be a good idea. Likewise, it would seem, a hospital would be held responsible for the actions of its staff, physicians included. This has not, nor it is now, always been the case, though.

The tort of negligent credentialing is currently recognized by at least twenty-eight (28) states. For the purposes of explanation, let us assume that the number is exactly twenty-eight (28). Commonly, physicians are seen as independent contractors, simply working in the hospital as a venue, rather than as an employee of the hospital. For a hospital, this meant that it could receive the benefit of having physicians on hand, without bearing any of the responsibility of the actions of the physicians. To put it more simply, a lawsuit against a physician would not also put the hospital at risk. Now, though, that protection is gone, thanks to the tort of negligent credentialing.

Negligence, in its base meaning, is when an entity acts in a way not in accordance with how it should act, and someone or something is damaged as a result. Credentialing generally refers to a person or group that signs off and attests to the abilities of another. Here, negligent credentialing would be a hospital allowing a physician to perform medical services, without ensuring the physician’s ability to do so. Again, to make it stark, think of a hospital allowing a toddler to perform a surgery. As an aside, no physicians or architects should take any of this as being called toddlers. Negligent credentialing is broken down into three (3) parts, each of which must be proved by a preponderance of the evidence (a greater than 50% certainty that the evidence says what either side contends that it does) before the plaintiff may succeed in the action. These parts are: 1) the defendant hospital owed the patient a duty to ensure a competent medical staff; 2) the hospital breached that duty by granting privileges to an incompetent or unqualified physician; and 3) the physician caused harm to the patient. Peter Schmit, 18 Causes of Action 2d 329 (2002).

A recent case in Kentucky has brought the tort back into the limelight. In 2011, the Kentucky Supreme Court discussed the tort, but then decided to leave adopting it in Kentucky “for another day…” in Trover v. Estate of Burton. The case that has brought the issue back up is Spalding v. Spring View Hospital. A number of other cases joined on the appeal, all claiming a breach of the tort of negligent credentialing. Jones, Adams, and the Spaldings all seek for the court to recognize the tort, allowing them the ability to seek redress. Originally, the various claims were dismissed, as Kentucky did not, at the time, recognize the tort. The appeal, now, asks the court, not to create law, but recognize law already in existence in numerous other jurisdictions.

In previous years, we have seen a major shift in hospital ownership from private firms, to large non-profit organizations. This has been the most significant argument for the rationale of recognizing negligent credentialing. Secondarily, courts have argued the expansion of recognition of torts (such as negligent hiring), negligent supervision, and corporate negligence. Kentucky, incidentally, recognizes all three. Ohio and Utah, though, have totally abolished the claim, thus granting hospitals full immunity to any such action. City of Hazard Mun. Housing Comm’n v Hinch is the basis of the law in Kentucky, stating that hospitals are not responsible for the actions of the physicians practicing within them, referring to the physicians as independent contractors. In fact, the court, in Spalding, even goes so far as to say that this is still the law. However, that said law does not bar a plaintiff from collecting based on a negligent credentialing claim.

The Spaldings, Jones, nor Adams brought a claim based on the idea that the hospital should be liable for the actions of physicians working within them. Instead, each desires that a hospital be held liable for hiring said physicians. Whereas respondeat superior (the notion that an employer is responsible for its employees), vicarious liability, and ostensible agency all rest in the idea that an employer is responsible for the actions of its employees, essentially. However, the various parties want the hospitals held directly liable for negligently credentialing their physicians involved in the cases. This idea, then, must be accepted in order for the parties to have their claims even considered. Otherwise, there is no claim.

The court notes that corporate negligence is the most appropriate context in which to view these cases. This is because hospitals are, almost exclusively, owned by corporations. Backing this decision, the court quotes Insinga v. LaBella (Fla. 1989), in which the Florida court said that hospitals “thus have an independent duty to select and retain competent independent physicians.”

Spring View and LCRH (Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital) both contended that recognition of such a claim would create a “chilling effect” on the participation of credentialing committee members, as they would be concerned about the prospect of personal liability. The two hospitals also argue that adding the liability would further add to the already high cost of healthcare within the state. The court denied both contentions, though, stating that the first was too speculative, and the second was irrelevant. The court said that imposing liability would only make the hospitals insure themselves against their own negligence of contracting with a physician that did not meet a certain standard.

That is the crux of the tort. A hospital would not be held liable for a physician who simply screws up one day. Rather, a hospital would only be held liable for hiring a physician that it either knew, or reasonably should have known, would act in a manner that would be considered less than satisfactory. Hospitals were, in fact, one of the only institutions immune from such a standard of responsibility.

Trover, the case introduced in 2011, in which the court decided to leave the question of negligent credentialing for another day, was decided in 2014. Now, in 2016, the Kentucky Court System has determined that “today is that day.” Negligent Credentialing is now a legally recognized cause of action within the state of Kentucky. Of course, this will almost certainly be appealed to the Kentucky Supreme Court by either LCHS or Spring View, if not both. This decision came down on March 11, 2016. As of today, April 4, 2016, no appeal has been filed.

Should the decision stand, Kentucky will officially join the ranks of the other states which have adopted the doctrine of Negligent Credentialing. This means that hospitals will be held responsible for who they contract with. It seems to stand to reason, as companies in other fields are held to the same standard. Physicians, who hold in their hands our very lives on a daily basis, should, then, be at least as scrutinized by a potential employer, thus mitigating the risk not only to us, but to themselves.

How to Stop a Car Repossession by Filing for Bankruptcy

Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2016 at 6:53 am    

Justin Lawrence continues Lawrence & Associates’ bankruptcy video blog series with this discussion about how a Chapter 13 bankruptcy can stop the repossession of a car, or even get your car back if it has already been repossessed!

If you have any further questions about repossession and bankruptcy after watching the video, give Justin a call for a free consultation!

Join Us as We Restore Trees in Buena Vista Park

Posted on Tuesday, March 29th, 2016 at 7:28 am    

buenavistaparkIn the fall of 2015, vandals destroyed newly planted saplings at the Buena Vista Park in Newport, Kentucky. Lawrence & Associates heard about this criminal act through the Newport Parks Renaissance Commission’s Facebook posts, and offered to help. After six months of planning and a short winter, we are ready to help the Newport Parks Renaissance Commission re-plant the trees and restore the park.

The attorneys and staff of Lawrence & Associates will be donating their time and money to help the Newport Parks Renaissance Commission enhance the beauty of Buena Vista Park in Newport Kentucky.

Justin L. Lawrence, owner-operator of Lawrence & Associates, vouched to personally help with a donation and his own two hands when he was notified that multiple trees of Buena Vista Park had been destroyed by vandals. Since his initial pledge, multiple other members of Lawrence & Associates’ staff have now also pledged their time to restoring these trees and improving the park.

We ask that you please stop by Buena Vista Park, W 12th Street, Newport, Kentucky 41017 on April 9, 2016 at 9:00am to show your support for these wonderful volunteers.

Bankruptcy Can Stop Wage Garnishments and May Offer Refunds

Posted on Sunday, March 27th, 2016 at 11:19 pm    

This week, our bankruptcy web video series explains how a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 Bankruptcy can stop a wage garnishment.  Justin Lawrence, the founder of Lawrence & Associates, explains how a bankruptcy can even force the company garnishing your wages to return your money to you if the bankruptcy is filed within ninety (90) days.  Time is of the essence, so watch this video and call for more information today!

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