December 12, 2013

As the start date to the first federal trial over transvaginal mesh complications approaches, lawyers for a group of plaintiffs accused Johnson & Johnson officials of destroying or misplacing documents related to the medical devices.

In a court filing on Dec. 2, attorneys for a group of women who allege their vaginal mesh failed and caused injuries contend that officials in Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit lost or destroyed potentially hundreds of thousands of documents related to transvaginal mesh devices. Plaintiffs’ lawyers asked that Johnson & Johnson be barred from...

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December 05, 2013

The da Vinci Surgical System has seen increased use in a number of common operations in Kentucky, Indiana and across the United States since its clearance by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2000. These robot-assisted surgical devices have also been linked to a growing number of complications, the actual amount of which may be underreported.

In November, the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) program NewsHour aired a piece about a study that found...

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November 18, 2013

On Sunday, Nov. 17, two people were critically injured and three firefighters were hospitalized after an auto accident on Interstate 64 near the Jefferson County/Shelby County line in which a car rear-ended a fire truck that was on-scene in response to a rollover accident.

A 2011 report from the Kentucky Transportation Center analyzed crash data over an 18-month period and found that nearly 4 percent of crashes were categorized as secondary. Secondary crashes are those that are a direct or indirect result of a previous accident.

Not all states track secondary crashes, but those that...

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November 14, 2013

On Nov. 14, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed that deaths related to motor vehicle accidents increased in 2012, the first rise in traffic accident fatalities since 2005.

The information is based on the final review of data for the 2012 Fatality Analysis Reporting System. According to the report, there were 33,561 accident-related deaths in 2012, an increase of 1,082 fatalities over 2011.

More than 70 percent of the deaths occurred in the first quarter of 2012, and most of those involved motorcycle accidents or...

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November 09, 2013

November 11 is Veterans Day, a federal holiday dedicated to recognizing the service of all U.S. Armed Forces veterans. But the date was initially designated with a different name and a more limited scope.

Armistice Day

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day and was intended to celebrate those who served in World War I. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day would be commemorated in the United States on Nov. 11.

Although the Treaty of Versailles, which effectively ended World War I, was not signed until June 19, 1919, fighting actually ceased seven months earlier with the armistice...

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October 30, 2013

Kentucky and Indiana are among the 41 states to ban drivers from texting in an effort to reduce the number of auto accidents caused by distracted driving. But states differ widely on the information law enforcement collects regarding distracted driving for crash reports.

We recently wrote about the 2013 Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) report on distracted driving, which indicates that both Kentucky and Indiana lag in the enforcement of texting bans as well as in general...

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October 28, 2013

Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bipartisan bill intended to streamline the disability claims process for military veterans and help speed the current backlog of Veterans’ Disability applications.

The average wait time for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to process a claim is more than 300 days. There are currently more than 700,000 veterans awaiting word on their disability claims; more than half of those have surpassed the VA’s processing goal of 125 days.

The bill passed by the House and known as the “Ending the VA Claims Disability Backlog and...

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October 28, 2013

Data from the last two full years for which figures are available indicates that fatal car accidents are declining, but that deadly motor vehicle crashes involving cell phone use are increasing.

In fact, a recent review of data by researchers at the Cohen Children’s Medical Center pegs texting-related auto accidents as the leading cause of death for teen drivers, surpassing alcohol-related wrecks by hundreds of fatalities. As awareness of the dangers of texting while driving have heightened, more states have begun regulating cell phone use.

Kentucky and Indiana are among the states...

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October 24, 2013

An Oct. 6 segment about the state of Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) on 60 Minutes drew some criticism from leaders in disability organizations, particularly over statements that the program is “ravaged by waste and fraud” and that it “could become the first government benefits program to run out of money.”

The chairwoman of the Social Security Task Force at the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), which is a coalition of nearly 100 national disability organizations, said the report did a “tremendous disservice” to those with disabilities who need help. The director...

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October 21, 2013

Although there are programs such as Veterans’ Disability intended to help those with injuries related to active military duty, there are few services designed to fulfill the emotional needs and dreams of aging veterans facing physical and financial hardships.

One such program is Honor Flight, a growing national network dedicated to providing free transportation for World War II veterans to the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. By the time the memorial opened to the public in 2004, many World War II veterans who desired to visit the...

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