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brain injury Archives | Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C.

Toyota recalls another 2.17 million vehicles

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Personal Injury on Friday, February 25th, 2011

After much pressure from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Toyota has announced the recall of another 2.17 million vehicles, bringing the total number of recalls up to more than 13 million in the U.S. alone since September of 2009.

This auto defect recall – which echoes the same as previous complaints of stuck pedals and sudden acceleration – comes just two weeks after a NASA study concluded that there were no problems with sudden acceleration.

This newest recall of 2.17 million affects Toyota models going back to as far as 2003. As part of the recall, Toyota has laid out extensive plans to replace the carpet on some models that is believed to be causing the accelerator to stick, and in some models will actually be replacing a plastic pad that is inside of the carpet that is believed to be getting caught on the accelerator. However, in some models – like the 4Runner, RAV4 and Lexus LX, Toyota is still in the process of developing some kind of fix to the acceleration problem.

Even before this most recent recall, Toyota was already facing hundreds of personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, as well as suits related to economic damages. With this latest round of recalls it’s imagined that even more lawsuits will start to be filed.

One of those lawsuits is from a woman who was in a crash that caused spinal and brain injuries. At the time of the crash the woman claimed that while in reverse, her 2005 Highlander started to accelerate on its own. However, at the time of the crash her make and model was not included in any recalls. But, this newest recall does include that model, and she plans on suing.

And while Toyota has come just short of claiming that this newest recall will be the last of customer complaints, others – like the head of the Center for Auto Safety – aren’t so sure and suspect that there might actually be other problems with the vehicles that aren’t related to the gas pedals and floor mats, which if true could result in even more recalls and even more lawsuits for Toyota.

Source: The Los Angeles Times, “Toyota to recall 2.17 million more vehicles,” Ken Bensinger and Ralph Vartabedian, 25 Feb 2011


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Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Makes Brain Injury Worse

By | Traumatic Brain Injury | No Comments

On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Traumatic Brain Injury on Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

According to a new study, patients who have suffered a traumatic brain injury and develop post-traumatic stress disorder are at a higher risk of complications.

The research, conducted by the Archives of General Psychiatry, showed that patients with a brain injury, who then develop post-traumatic stress disorder, are more likely to have more health problems and diminished cognitive function one year later.

This comes after the American Association of Neurological Surgeons warned about an increased risk of brain injury during the Christmas season due to factors such as bad weather. These accidents include car accidents but also slipping on ice.

The American Association of Neurological Surgeons defines a traumatic brain injury as a blow or jolt to the head of a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Traumatic brain injury can result when the head suddenly and violently hits an object or when an object pierces the skull and enters brain tissue.

The Archives of General Psychiatry study was conducted using telephone interviews to assess four factors: reasoning and problem solving, memory, attention and concentration and thinking.

The team of researchers studied outcomes for 3,047 civilian patients (ages 18 to 84) hospitalized at 69 hospitals with moderate to severe injuries who survived for at least a year.

Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can range from mild to severe. The Archives of General Psychiatry study found that regardless of severity, those with post-traumatic stress disorder demonstrated significantly lower cognitive scores compared with patients without post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Two Car Accidents Leave one Dead, Another with Brain Injuries

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Traumatic Brain Injury on Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Two recent car accidents in New York City left at least one person dead and another suffering from severe brain injuries. The first incident resulted in the death of a passenger in one vehicle and various personal injuries to others, while the second incident resulted in a man suffering critical brain injuries, and was allegedly the result of a hit-and-run.

The first accident occurred Sunday when two cars collided on Staten Island. According to police reports, one car was heading north on Hylan Boulevard and was struck by the second vehicle near the intersection with Steuben Street. The first car was allegedly attempting to make a left turn when the second car collided with it while heading south on Hylan.

A backseat passenger in the southbound car was later pronounced dead at Staten Island University North Hospital. Three other individuals in the southbound car, as well as two individuals in the northbound car were hospitalized, but all were reported to be in stable condition.

The second incident occurred two hours later when a pedestrian in Queens was reportedly struck by a car traveling southbound down 108th Street as he attempted to cross 63rd Road. The injured man was thrown from the southbound lane into the northbound lane where he was struck by yet another car. The first car drove off after the collision, but the second motorist stopped and remained at the scene.

The injured man was taken to New York Hospital of Queens where he is listed in extremely critical condition and is believed to have suffered severe brain injuries. The 17-year-old hit-and-run driver allegedly returned to the scene about an hour after the crash. He has since been charged with vehicular assault and leaving the scene of an accident.

There are far too many serious vehicle accidents each year. That’s why it is important that we have a strong civil justice system to hold unsafe drivers accountable for hurting others.  Only by a jury forcing these unsafe drivers to accept responsibility for the harm they inflict can we encourage safer driving so that no one else gets hurt.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Hit and Run in Queens, Tamer El-Ghobashy 11/29/10


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Neurologists Push for More Care around Concussions

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Traumatic Brain Injury on Wednesday, November 3rd, 2010

If the American Academy of Neurology had its way, there would be a certified athletic trainer present at every amateur athletic sporting event, including both games and practice. This recommendation was made on Monday in the journal Neurology and represents the official opinion of the largest professional neurologists association in the United States.

In addition to the above point, the academy recommended that athletes believed to have suffered a concussion be removed from the game or practice immediately. The also asked that a player in this situation be fully evaluated by a qualified physician before returning to play.

The concern surrounding concussions and the potential for serious brain injury extends through all age groups and levels. Both amateur athletes and professional players are being warned about the potential dangers associated with a sharp blow to the head.

In October, the National Football League (NFL) began cracking down on dangerous hits, such as helmet-to-helmet tackles, fining three players in one weekend.

As Melissa Healy reports for the Los Angeles Times, the concern over amateur athletes is especially great, due in large part to studies which have shown a dramatic increase in concussion-related emergency care for youth between 8 and 14 years old.

Whether the academy’s recommendations will be acted upon remains to be seen, but coaches, school board members, parents and others would do well to take a hard look at the dangers posed to young athletes.

Source Article


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Brain Injury Might have Contributed to Football Player’s Suicide

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Traumatic Brain Injury on Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Doctors in Pennsylvania are concerned that repeated blows to the head might have contributed to the suicide of a college football player earlier this year. Autopsies performed on the college student after his death revealed troubling signs of “incipient chronic traumatic encephalopathy,” abbreviated CTE.

Recent autopsies of former NFL football players have uncovered the same thing, though at a much more advanced stage. Caused by repeated brain trauma, CTE has been linked to mood disorders such as depression.

Perhaps the most frightening aspect of this most recent case, though, is the fact that the player in question never suffered a concussion during his playing career. Rather, doctors believe that the CTE was a result of repeated impact at the line of scrimmage.

How many hits are too many? It’s hard to say. Concussions would be a more obvious indicator of repeated head trauma, but the general wear and tear of football is difficult to gauge without any standalone incidents.

This is scary news for the parents of football players and should be frightening news for the players and coaches themselves.

The NFL has come under fire recently from former players and others familiar with the business for failing to protect players against head injuries. These individuals have accused the league of prioritizing profit over safety. League officials have denied this and have, in their defense, begun to take a more proactive approach to preventing head and brain injury.

Still, this is a relatively new chapter in the study of traumatic brain injuries and head trauma. As such, it is not exactly clear just what that preventative approach should be.

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Concussions Happen in Youth Basketball Too

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Traumatic Brain Injury on Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

There has recently been a lot of focus on the dramatic increase in concussions and traumatic brain injury among young football players, and justifiably so. However, it is important to remember that concussions can happen in any sport and, yesterday, Tara Parker-Pope, of The New York Times, discussed instances of head trauma among young basketball players.

Medical journal Pediatrics recently reported that close to 375,000 teens and younger children arrive in emergency rooms across the country every year for injuries sustained while playing basketball. Among the injuries reported, the rate of head trauma and brain injury is increasing.

The data was from an 11-year study, focusing on the rate of injuries among young basketball players. Over the course of the study, the total number of head injuries doubled. Broken down by sex, head injuries doubled for boys and tripled for girls.

All in all, the study tallied nearly 110,000 head injuries over the 11-year stretch.

It is important to recognize that the number of participants engaged in basketball is much higher than many other sports and that, taken relatively, basketball records fewer head injuries per x number of participants.

Still, the sheer number of injured athletes is important regardless of what percentage they make up. For example, 3 out of 10 is a lower percentage than 1 out of 2, but would still triple the total number of those affected. (This is for illustrative purposes only and is not based on any of the aforementioned studies.)

The takeaway is that head injuries can happen in any athletic endeavor and, while you cannot stop all of them, being cognizant and ready to react is still a valuable asset.

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Brain Injuries Increasing at an Alarming Rate Among Youth

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Traumatic Brain Injury on Monday, August 30th, 2010

Between 1997 and 2007, concussions among children 14 to 19 years old increased by upwards of 200 percent. During that same time period, the number of children between the ages of 8 and 13 who visited the emergency room for concussions more than doubled.

These statistics were included in a study released today by The American Academy of Pediatrics. Another study, released by the American Academy of Pediatrics’ sports council, focused on athletics-related concussions and head injuries.

These too have been increasing at a dramatic pace.

Regardless of which study you look at, the news is frightening. More children and young adults are suffering from concussions and other head and brain trauma than ever before.

This information comes at a time when brain injuries, in general, and especially those among professional athletes and soldiers serving overseas are being scrutinized more intensely.

In recent years, scientists have begun to make tentative links between brain injuries and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. This link, if it exists, could contradict years of popular opinion on the influence brain injuries have on brain disease.

Non-impact concussions suffered by soldiers exposed to explosive devices have also been recognized as a serious healthcare issue for returning troops.

Among children, a majority of reported concussions and head injuries are sports-related. Football, hockey and soccer all rate highly in regards to the frequency of concussions.

As CBS reports, surprisingly, girls seem to be suffering more concussions than their male counterparts.

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Secret Drug Tests on Soldiers Suffering from Brain Injuries

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On behalf of of Kahn Gordon Timko & Rodriques P.C. posted in Traumatic Brain Injury on Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Brain injuries are emerging as one of the great costs associated with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thousands of soldiers are suffering the effects of head and brain injuries, both from expected sources and some unforeseen. For example, concussion-like injuries have appeared with alarming frequency among soldiers exposed to explosive devices.

These are devices that do not break the skin, but cause severe damage nonetheless.

One of the greatest challenges facing the military, and no doubt the American healthcare system, will be how to care for and treat these wounded soldiers. Navy medical personnel have reportedly been testing the effectiveness of N-Acetyl Cysteine, a dietary supplement, on more mild brain injuries.

More commonly used to treat Tylenol overdoses, doctors hoped to see improvement in both hearing and balance among those soldiers injured by explosive devices. This is all fine, but there is a problem.

The tests are not believed to have been sanctioned.

The Pentagon is currently investigating whether these Navy medical personnel tested the drug without receiving proper administrative approval or test subject acquiescence. U.S. Navy officials are also investigating the potential of clinical research misconduct and Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) violations.

No soldiers are believed to have suffered in the tests, though that fact has not been confirmed. There was no mention in news reports that came out of whether or not any of the purported tests achieved successful results in treating brain injury.

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