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When a traumatic brain injury (TBI) is sustained, it can be difficult or impossible for the victim to fully recover. The function of the brain can be permanently affected and victims can be left cognitively impaired, suffering from memory loss or mood swings, and coping with a whole host of other serious health issues. Unfortunately, in the event that the brain injury victim is a child, the long-term effects could be even worse because the developing brain is hurt. atlanta traumatic brain injury

A child who sustains a traumatic brain injury needs extensive medical intervention. Unfortunately, a recent study showed that money affects the likelihood of a child getting appropriate care. Children are much less likely to receive the necessary rehabilitation if they come from poor families and/or if they come from families where English is not spoken as a first language.

In the event that a child was hurt by someone else through negligence or intentional wrongdoing, money should never be a barrier to a child getting appropriate care. An Atlanta traumatic brain injury lawyer should be consulted to provide help to the family when a child has sustained a brain injury so the family may pursue a claim for full compensation.

Brain injuries are invasive injuries that can be devastating. Unfortunately, diagnosing brain injuries can be difficult. It can also be challenging to track the improvements that patients are making when they undergo treatment for brain injury. brain copy

Knowing the extent of the damage when a person suffers a blow to the brain is necessary for proper treatment. Injured victims also need to know how badly they are hurt so they can pursue a claim for compensation with the help of their Atlanta brain injury lawyer. Continue Reading

med mal 3Our Atlanta psychiatrist malpractice attorney recently read an alarming story about a former University of Florida psychiatry professor forced to give up his Florida medical licence last June. This case before the Board of Medicine concerned his involvement in the death of a patient, Alice Tomlinson, in 2010. The ruling also required that he agree to never reapply for a Florida medical license. The psychiatrist, Dr. Harold E. Smith, had already had his medical license suspended or revoked in several states, including Georgia, Arkansas, Virginia, and Tennessee. He has had several disciplinary actions brought against him over a span of more than 20 years.

The case of Dr. Smith demonstrates just how worrying it can be when doctors can avoid the damage of malpractice claims and bad professional conduct by moving between states, each of which has its own licensing structure. In addition to the state actions against him, Dr. Smith had also been subject to disciplinary action by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in 2011 that led to the revocation of his certificate to prescribe controlled substances due to his submitting false information. These disciplinary actions, which were all due to his problems with drugs and alcohol, ought to have warned of continuing misconduct on the part of Dr. Smith.

The University of Florida Health Shands Hospital hired Dr. Smith one year ago as an assistant professor in the College of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry. He also treated patients with alcohol and drug addiction at the Florida Recovery Center. At the time of his hiring, he already faced the complaint over Ms. Tomlinson’s death, who had been prescribed Oxycontin despite showing signs of oversedation. She was discovered on the floor, unresponsive, and was later pronounced dead at the hospital. At the time of Ms. Tomlinson’s death, Dr. Smith had two prior actions against him in Florida, one was for improperly prescribing Oxycontin to family members, the other was for using crack cocaine and opioids. The University of Florida has refused to discuss what they knew about Dr. Smith’s problems with drug and alcohol abuse prior to his hiring. Dr. Smith was put on unpaid leave in December, and then resigned in May.

Last year, a 16 year old Georgia boy, a high school sophomore, named Chase Burnett died when he drowned in a hot tub. The synthetic marijuana product called “Mojo Diamond Extreme 100X Potpourri” was found next to the hot tub where he died. His family sued the distributor of the synthetic drug for wrongful death, in what was believed to be the first lawsuit of its kind. Our Atlanta wrongful death attorneys have been following this story and others like it.

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The Burnett lawsuit is in Cobb County court and is against 25 year old Peyton Palaio, or an unnamed associate from the companies Lunar Labs and WG Distribution, who the family claim sold the synthetic drug to the convenience store where Chase bought it on Peachtree Street. In connection with Chase’s death, 12 people were arrested and indicted on racketeering charges in Louisiana, where the synthetic drug that caused Chase’s death is thought to have originated. The Burnett’s lawyers shared information from their wrongful death lawsuit with the authorities, which helped lead to these arrests. Chase’s father, David Burnett, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he will not rest until “everyone associated with manufacturing and distributing the drug that killed [our] son are held accountable.”

The synthetic, which is generally known as K2 or Spice, is made when plant material is sprayed with chemicals that try to replicate THC, which is the active ingredient in pot. The Georgia State Board of Pharmacy issued a ruling classifying the synthetic drugs as Schedule 1 substances and a law gives police authority to take these substances out of stores, but still does not go so far as to include criminal prosecution. And these synthetic drugs are hard to pin down because crafty manufacturers keep changing the chemicals involved to avoid the laws.

police.jpgLaw enforcement departments at all levels serve an important role in keeping our communities safe. However, our Atlanta traffic accident attorneys also know that under Georgia law, the police are allowed to disregard traffic laws, such as red lights and speed limits, based on the type of call to which the officers are responding. But this does not give police officers license to be reckless and unnecessarily endanger the lives of innocent civilians with whom they share the roads.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution this week highlighted two recent cases showing the danger in having police officers ill-trained for this type of driving and in ignoring habitual risky driving by officers. In December 2006, 25 year old rookie cop James Stoudenmire was going 34 miles over the speed limit on his way to back up another officer when he slammed into the car turning left in front of him, killing 52 year old Willie Allen Sargent Jr. On New Year’s Eve, just a few months ago, a veteran Georgia State Trooper Donald Crozier ran a red light without even a slight pause and plowed into an SUV in downtown Atlanta, killing 54 year old Kathy Porter, wife of Atlanta Braves athletic trainer Jeff Porter. In both instances, the officers were responding to non-emergency calls and both were speeding.

Last month, a jury awarded Mr. Sargent’s family $2 million in a judgment against Gwinnett County, Officer Stoudenmire’s employer. Officer Stoudenmire was suspended without pay for 24 days because it was his first such incident, but he later resigned in the face of a DUI two years after this deadly crash. Officer Crozier was to blame for four prior crashes since 2008, and he was finally terminated after this fifth deadly crash on New Year’s Eve. There is an ongoing investigation and potential criminal charges against him.