Bedbugs and the Law: Use this Helpful Website to Check your Hotel Before you Travel

Lawyer John Day at the Day on Torts Blog has an interesting post today about a recent article concerning bed bug litigation fueled by an explosion in hotel bed bug infestations across the country.  He cites these statistics from the article:

Although hotels have become familiar with the surge of bed bug claims in recent years, the volume and nature of such claims are expected to continue to grow. Bed bug infestations are reported to have increased 300% nationally between 2000 and 2001, 70% between 2001 and 2002, and 70% between 2002 and 2003.22 Approximately 20,000 bed bug reports have been made to bedbugregistry.com since summer 2010 for hotels throughout the United States.

The most interesting part of the quote?  www.BedBugRegistry.com — a website where travelers and consumers can check out prospective hotels.

You can bet I’ll be using that website before I travel.

Law Talk: Inspector General Report Shows Only 14% of Hospital Errors Are Actually Reported

For all the talk about frivolous lawsuits and the need for tort reform and damage caps, the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services recently released a report showing that only 14% of hospital errors are actually ever even reported.  Click here to see/read the ABC News report.  Moreover, the report showed that even when errors were identified, most hospitals rarely changed their policies and practices to prevent repeat errors, saying the event did not reveal any “systemic quality problems.”

One example of serious hospital error is wrong site surgery, which is estimated to occur up to 6 times per day in the United States.  One such example is a 3 year old Oregon boy who was recently scheduled for surgery to correct a lazy left eye but wound up having unnecessary surgery on his right eye!

Another recent study released in the journal Health Affairs found that fully one-third one-third of hospital visits lead to injury, with as many as 90% of hospital errors are missed by current reporting systems. Further, the report showed that as many as 44% of the errors could and should have been prevented.

Patients and families should take great care to be a diligent partner in your own health care.  Ask questions, monitor your progress and medications, do your own research, and ask more questions!

If you suspect that you or loved one have been the victim of one of these all-too-common errors, call an attorney to see about your rights and how you can help prevent against similar errors for others in the future.  In the light of the ineffectiveness of the voluntary reporting systems currently in place, a robust judicial remedy is a much-needed tool for accountability and proper deterrence of avoidable errors.

If you need help, feel free to call our office for a free consultation.  You can also browse our website for lots of helpful information about medical errors and the legal process involved.