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Pennsylvania man allegedly speeding before crash that killed baby

Although Philadelphia's population is considerably larger than Pittsburgh's, the traffic accident rate in Allegheny County was higher in 2011 than the big city to the east, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation's Pennsylvania Crash Facts & Statistics Report. According to the 2011 report, state transportation officials reported that 9.7 percent of all statewide accidents and five percent of all fatalities occurred in Allegheny County that year. Almost 33,000 accidents involved speeding.

Speed is blamed for an accident in northeastern Susquehanna County last September. State troopers said a Kingsley man was traveling too fast around a curve and lost control of his pickup truck. They say the truck spun left across Route 92 and slammed into two vehicles coming the other way.

Allegheny County man to be tried for fatal Sea-Doo crash

Within the next month, Allegheny County warm weather lovers will be prepping boats for the summer days ahead on the local rivers. The most experienced operators sometimes forget or ignore water safety rules because, unlike cars, boats are primarily for recreation. The U.S. Coast Guard reported the largest number of boating accidents in 2012 was caused by operator inattentiveness.

A 27-year-old Allegheny County man is charged with homicide for a fatal accident in 2012. The 24-year-old female victim was a passenger aboard a personal watercraft operated by the defendant on the Ohio River. The woman drowned after the couple and Sea-Doo were swept over the Dashields Lock and Dam.

Pennsylvania driver confesses cellphone contributed to fatality

Pennsylvania bans texting while driving but does not prohibit drivers from talking on cellphones. State law also trumps any local ordinances that attempt to impose stronger restrictions. Many people feel states that allow texting and cellphone use encourage inattentive driving.

A 34-year-old Warrington, Pennsylvania, man admitted he was distracted when his cellphone fell on the floor while he was driving. The driver's attention was refocused long enough to prevent him from seeing an elderly pedestrian in time to prevent an accident. The 85-year-old woman, assisted by a cane, was hit while crossing a Lehigh County highway on Memorial Day weekend and died of her injuries.

Hearing seeks accountability for wrongful deaths of veterans

Pittsburgh residents may be more aware of the treatment of military veterans than people elsewhere. In 2011, a Legionnaire's disease outbreak at a local veterans' hospital led to a half dozen deaths and sickened 21 other patients. The U.S House Committee on Veterans' Affairs is conducting a hearing this month to determine whether VA hospitals have been doing enough to prevent wrongful deaths.

The government inquiry comes on the heels of criticism about the agency's attitude toward patient safety. Government legal claims aren't like civilian liability cases. Rigid procedural rules and forbidden punitive damages discourage families from filing for compensation.

Robotic suits help spinal cord injury victims regain movement

The loss of freedom of movement can be frustrating for Pittsburgh residents with limited physical functions. A spinal cord injury can force a patient to become dependent on a wheelchair or people for the most basic needs. Paralysis has been linked to skin, bone and weight problems and depression.

Rapid strides in technology are being used to improve the quality of patients' health and lives. Machines incorporating technology, medical need and creativity now exist to benefit people with paralysis. Robotic devices and other machines have been invented to re-able the disabled.

Pennsylvania damages delayed by defendant’s post-trial appeal

Judgments favoring plaintiffs in Pittsburgh liability cases are declarations that help lessen a family's emotional suffering. Damages must be collected for relatives to have the full benefits of an Allegheny County civil court's decision. Delays in damage recovery can occur when a defendant files a post-trial motion or moves to appeal.

A New Castle jury recently awarded damages exceeding $5.4 million to the parents of a 22-year-old man killed in a 2008 truck accident. Liability for the wrongful death was divided between the truck driver and the owners of the vehicle he was driving, Guru Global Logistics. The driver was faulted for 30 percent of the blame and the truck's owners the remainder of the judgment.

Pennsylvania wrongful death case challenges Pradaxa's safety

Medications, when used according to directions and label warnings, are supposed to benefit a patient's health. Pittsburgh doctors rely on manufacturers' information to prescribe drugs. Patients, in turn, depend on doctors' advice and have the most to lose when a medical professional's decision is wrong.

Pradaxa, manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, is a relatively new drug, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010. The medication is similar to warfarin. Both drugs are anticoagulants, prescribed to patients with irregular heart rhythm conditions for the prevention of blood clots and strokes.

Judge advances Pennsylvania inmate's prison malpractice case

Prison strips a person of a number of privileges beyond freedom, but inmates have constitutional rights to receive "adequate" health care. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, the Eighth Amendment protects prisoners' rights to file legal claims, when prisons place an inmate's health at risk by neglecting a significant health condition. The allegation is known as "deliberate indifference."

A Pennsylvania prison inmate sued Montgomery County and prison officials in 2012. The lawsuit claimed the inmate was administered the controversial antipsychotic drug Risperdal, two weeks after his incarceration in 2010. The plaintiff blamed the defendants for ignoring a drug side effect, which eventually rendered the prisoner permanently impotent.

Billed as alternative, Paxil linked to newborns' cardiac defects

Finding out about pregnancy can be a very exciting experience for women and their loved ones. Once a person finds out that she is pregnant, one of the first steps may be to visit with a doctor to ensure that everything is going well. During that appointment, a woman might make sure that her current prescription drug regimen is also safe for her developing child.

Knowing that this might be a major concern for expecting parents, drug manufacturers may promote their products to pregnant women. This is exactly what GlaxoSmithKline did with the antidepressant Paxil when it was first developed, as they declared it to be a safer alternative for pregnant patients. According to the Pennsylvania Record, one mother is looking to combat this notion with a claim she filed against the company for birth injuries and defects her child suffered.

Pennsylvania woman accused of DUI homicide goes on trial

Someone in the U.S. will die in an alcohol-related traffic accident in less time than many Pittsburgh residents take to get ready for work or watch a television show. Drunk driving accidents kill one person in America every 48 minutes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Driver drivers were responsible for 10,228 fatalities or 31 percent of all traffic deaths in 2010.

DUI statistics are mind-numbing but nothing compared to the aftermath of a crash for drunk driving accident victims and their loved ones. Permanent injuries or losses are not retractable. However, courts can provide victims and relatives with some relief by penalizing wrongdoers and forcing negligent or reckless parties to pay damages.

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