Cerebral Palsy, Dementia Victims Beware Of Shady Stockbrokers


Posted on 30th January 2012 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Here is a cautionary tale for anyone who has ever received a malpractice judgment. The case, chronicled in Forbes by lawyer Bill Singer, involved a cerebral palsy victim being defrauded by a stockbroker. 


Ralph Thomas of Baltimore was a broker and financial planner for Harbor Financial, and from February 2004 until July 2010, he worked for Wells Fargo Advisors.

Thomas met a woman, only identified as KL, who was trustee for a $3 million settlement for her daughter, who developed cerebral palsy from injuries she sustained at birth. Thomas, allegedly got KL to transfer the trust to Harbor Financial, according to Forbes.

Then Thomas allegedly did his dirty work. He was accused of stealing $757,000 from the trust account, using the money to pay off his credit cards and other personal bills.

Then , from June 2006 to May 2009, Thomas took out three mortgages in KL’s name on her home. He put that money in her Harbor Bank account, and then allegedly withdrew that money, about $27,000. He was also accused of takingt $100,000 from the  trust account to buy a home.

But that wasn’t all.     

In 2009, the retired LM made Thomas her financial advisor. LM had an 85-year-old sister with dementia, and she and her sister shared money from an annuity, according to Forbes. Thomas allegedly took $75,000 from LM’s accounty, one again using the money to trim his credir card bills.

A federal indictment outlining Thomas’s alleged crimes was handed up last August. He was facing up to 20 years in jail, a $250,000 fine for mail fraud, and forfeiture of $838,000 in funds and luxury items that he had.

But in September, Thomas entered a plea bargain, where he only pleaded guilty to mail fraud. He has to make $838,000 in restitution and forfeit some of his property. And he can’t can’t associate with any firm that’s a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which agreed to his settlement offer to dispose of the allegations pending against him. 

Columnist Bill Singer said that letting Thomas, who he described as a “low life,” just make a settlement — with no admission of wrongdoing — is just wrong.

“Armed with with a fuller understanding of Thomas’s crimes, I re-read FINRA’s self-regulatory case and realized how pathetic Wall Street regulation truly is,” Singer wrote. “Notwithstanding the epic nature of Thomas’s atrocities, FINRA stil felt it okay to accept a settlement that did not require him to admit its charges. Seriously?”

That’s what I would ask myself, about a guy who allegedly robbed a cerebral palsy victim and a woman with dementia.  Seriously?     



Brain-Injured Wisconsin Boy And His Mother Win $23.3 Million In Medical Malpractice Case


Posted on 29th May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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A Wisconsin jury has awarded $23.3 million in a medical malpractice case involving a boy who suffered brain damage, and now has cerebral palsy, after a doctor delivered him with forceps five years ago, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


The Milwaukee County jury rendered the verdict last Thursday against Dr. Donald Baccus and the Injury Patients and Families Compensation Fund on behalf of plaintiffs Laron Birmingham, 5 years old, and his mother Kishia Lee. But the panel cleared St. Joseph Regional Medical Center of any negligence in the case.

Baccus’s attorney told the Journal Sentinel that he plans to appeal the verdict.

During the trial, which began May 10, the plaintiffs argued that because Lee had prolonged labor and was having other problems in May 2005, Baccus should have performed a Cesarian section delivery.

Baccus didn’t do the C-section, but instead had a medical resident deliver Yaron using forceps, and that instrument injured the newborn’s brain.

As a result of that brain damage, Laron had cerebral palsy, and will never be able to live on his own or get a job, according to testimony at the trial.

The award will compensate Laron for his past and future medical bills; his pain A Wisconsin jury has awarded $23.3 million in a medical malpractice case involving a boy who suffered brain damage, and now has cerebral palsy, after a doctor delivered him with forceps five years ago, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.


Jury Awards $18.5 Million In New Jersey Cerebral Palsy-Birth Malpractice Case


Posted on 1st May 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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The family of a 12-year-old New Jersey boy, who developed cerebral palsy after his emergency Caesarean-section was delayed, last week was awarded $18.5 million by a jury against Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark. http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/04/middlesex_family_is_awarded_18.html

The medical malpractice judgment was not only against the hospital but also Dr. Joan Lieser, a Springfield, N.J., obstetrician.

During a trial in Essex County, jurors heard testimony about the birth of Darius Morgan of Middlesex County, N.J. In 1998, Beth Israel was too slow to do an emergency Caesarian-section on his mother. Because of that delay, Morgan now has cerebral palsy, the family attorney had argued.

If Morgan had been born a mere eight minutes earlier, he would have been healthy, according to trial testimony. Now, he needs to be taken care the rest of his life.

Morgan’s mother had filed suit against Beth Israel in 2002, but she died in 2004. The boy was adopted by his great aunt and current legal guardian, Darlene Kim, in 2007.

Saint Barnabas Health Care System, which oversees Beth Israel, declined to comment on the judgment to The Ledger.


Illinois Hospital, Midwife Settle Cerebral Palsy Suit For $9.5 Million


Posted on 16th April 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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An Algonquin, Ill., family that charged that a hospital was to blame for its son being born with cerebral palsy has settled its malpractice suit for $9.5 million. http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2010/04/95m-settlement-in-case-of-boy-born-with-cerebal-palsy.html

A mediator said Thursday that an Elgin hospital, a nurse midwife and the nurse’s employer all agreed to pay the settlement. 

Plaintiff Helen O’Came arrived at Sherman Hospital on Oct. 26, 1996, in labor with her son, Patrick, according to a statement from her attorneys Barry Chafetz, Margaret Power and Shawn Kasserman of Corboy & Demetrio.

When O’Came started experiencing complications, she asked the nurse to summon a doctor. But the nurse failed to get a physician, the mother’s attorneys allege.

Retired Cook County Circuit Court Judge and mediator Daniel Localla agreed to the settlement Thursday.

Clinical Trial To Study Stem Cells’ Impact on Cerebral Palsy


Posted on 17th February 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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Can stem cells help damaged brain cells recover? That’s the question that researchers will address in a new clinical trial.

The Medical College of Georgia is looking to find out if stem cells from umbilical cords can help kids with cerebral palsy, according to UPI.

A lack of oxygen to the brain, as well as brain damage, cause cerebral palsy.

The college is touting its study as the first such trial to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The research will involve 40 children, 2 to 12. Their parents have core blood stored at the Core Blood Registry in Tucson, Ariz.

There have been studies on animals that indicate that stem cells did help damaged brain cells recover and even replace dead brains cells.

Stem cells, found in umbilical cord blood, change into different kinds of cells around the body.

It remains to be seen if they will provide a real aid to those with cerebral palsy. For more on cerebral palsy go to http://cerebral-palsy-medicalmalpractice.com

Minnesota Sees Record $23.2 Million Malpractice Award In Botched Birth Case


Posted on 12th February 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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In what appears to be a record verdict in Minnesota for a medical malpractice case, a jury has awarded $23.2 million to a family whose baby suffered numerous complications during her birth, resulting in brain damage and cerebral palsy. http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/150693/

The verdict came Tuesday in the case stemming from the June 6, 2007 birth of Kylie Rodgers, daughter of Elise Rodgers and Matthew Larson, at Rice Memorial Hospital in Willmar, Minn.

During her delivery Kylie didn’t get enough oxygen, and as a result she now has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, neurological problems and seizures. For more on cerebral palsy, click here.

The doctor who delivered the baby, Dr. Gabrielle Olson, had been dropped as a defendant in the case. She was with Affiliated Community Medical Centers (ACMC), and was considered to be acting as an agent of the medical center.

The jury in Kandiyohi Count District Court found that ACMC was 80 percent negligent in the case, and that Rice Memorial was 20 percent negligent.

The malpractice award broke down to $1.7 million for Kylie’s past medical care; $10 million for future care and emotional distress; and $1.5 million for loss of earning capacity.

The ACMC and hospital may appeal the verdict.

The Minnesota Hospital Association said this was the highest award in its memory, with the largest one it was familiar with coming in at $11 million.

Woman’s Family Sues When She Sustains Brain Injury And Dies After Having Teeth Pulled


Posted on 11th February 2010 by gjohnson in Uncategorized

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One of the greatest challenges in a career representing injured people is that it is almost always those with the greatest vulnerabilities, that have the worst results. This story about a woman who had a routine dental procedure which left her with a brain injury, which ultimately killed her, is a perfect example. Clearly this woman’s cerebral palsy made her more vulnerable to something bad happening. The medical and dental professionals involved in this case will likely argue that it was her cerebral palsy which was the problem. But for her cerebral palsy, she wouldn’t have needed the procedure at all. No defense lawyer should ever be allowed to persuade that a vulnerable person is less entitled to justice.

The survivors of a Bronx woman who suffered brain damage, and ultimately died, after having her teeth extracted have filed a wrongful death suit in the case, according to United Press International. http://www.justicenewsflash.com/2010/02/11/ny-woman-suffered-brain-damage-died-teeth-pulled_201002113316.html

The lawsuit was filed by the family of Felita Dowdy, 33, against dentist Dr. Bruce Lish and St. Luke’s Hospital in Manhattan. The case is in the Bronx Supreme Court.

Dowdy had cerebral palsy, and her teeth had rotted. She went to St. Luke’s last July 21 to have her teeth pulled.

But shortly after the extraction, the suit claims, Dowdy went into respiratory arrest and sustained brain damage as a result. She died Oct. 14. The lawsuit also alleges that the pain killers fentanyl contributed to Dowdy’s demise.

According to the story, St. Luke’s offered condolences to the Dowdy family but declined further comment. Lish’s father, dentist Dr. Jerome Lish, in the article said that his son has many disabled patients and wasn’t responsible for Dowdy’s death.