Monday, July 27, 2009

Pharmacy Errors Kill

Medication is engineered to be powerful. Small pills with concentrated ingredients can have a huge effect. 

Usually, these effects are intended to help us. 

But truthfully, we as consumers place an awful lot of faith and trust in the doctors who prescribe and the pharmacists who dispense these medications. These highly trained professionals are all human, and therefore sometimes make errors. These include drug interactions, filling errors and the like.

Their errors can have fatal results.

Consider a pharmacist who reads a  .75 milligram does as 7.5 milligram dose. That is a dose ten times the intended amount!

Or, consider a pharmacy tech who drops the wrong prescription bottle in the patient's bag. The error may be discovered only after the death of the patient. 

Please, check the bottles you or your loved ones receive. If the drug is new, look it up on drug sites and make sure they match the color, size and imprint. Check the match.

Drugs strong enough to require prescriptions can kill. I have seen that in cases I am involved with. 

If you have any questions, ask. Let's help stop the errors.

David B. Peel

Friday, July 24, 2009


I believe the most persistent Legal Myth is that if you are hurt on someone's property that the landowner is "Automatically Liable."

That is NOT TRUE

It has never been true anywhere.

But, I do think I understand where it came from. If you are at my home, and you trip over your own two feet and break your leg, I am not liable. In other words, nothing I did--or did not do--caused you to fall. But, I have medical payments coverage on my homeowners that may pay medical bills regardless of fault.

So then, your mother hears that her son fell on my property and all his medical bills were paid. Her conclusion is that I was liable, so my homeowners paid. The Myth grows.

But, Homeowners would not, in my example, pay things like pain and suffering, lost wages, etc. Only medical bills would be paid and only to the limit of coverage (usually $5,000.00). 

Another problem arises when the homeowner is clearly at fault, but it was NOT an accident.  Such as if you get into a scuffle during a ball game in the homeowner's yard. If the homeowner breaks your jaw with a punch, that is an intentional act, not an accident. Therefore, homeowners will deny the claim. However, again, they may pay medical bills under medical payments coverage.

Finally, though, lets say that the homeowner left a hole in the dark flower bed and you don't see it and your ankle is broken. That would be an accident, caused by the homeowner and likely covered.  The negligent act was leaving an open hole that was not obvious and created a trap of sorts for visitors.

This is not the only Legal Myth out there, but it seems to be the most pervasive. 

What do you think?

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Cases of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect make me more mad and sad than just about any other cases I handle. 

It has been said that a society can be judged by how well we treat the helpless and the aged. If true, our society is failing.

Over and over, we see some Nursing Homes employ too few folks, and often no care is given to those needing it most.

Bedsores or "pressure sores" range form small red marks, to blister, to craters to actual holes, where you can see the bone and muscle underneath (stage 4). They should not happen and progress to that point!

Check loved ones by looking at their heels (take the socks off!) and having them rolled to see their sacral area. This is the region of the lower back and their bottom. This is a bad spot because fecal waste gets into it. 

If sores are found , photograph them and raise Cain with the staff. In one case, the sores lead to death from sepsis (infection) in less than 9 weeks!

This should not happen. Lawyers and lawsuits will eventually cost the Nursing Homes enough to improve care.  Will it happen into time to protect you?

David Peel


Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Legal Lessons




Most folks have given up on their New Year's resolutions by February.


So, here are few Legal resolutions that you can do today, to help yourself and your family:


1.    Make a videotape of all of your household goods. If you suffer losses due to tornado, fire, theft or earthquake (optional coverage) you can easily fill out claim forms by watching the video in the apartment or hotel your insurance company places you in.


2.    Buy more UM coverage. UM stands for Uninsured/Undersinsured Motorists coverage. On your car, you should carry at least $100,000.00 of this coverage. It is very cheap compared to what you may receive. It only pays your family or those in your car if they are injured or killed by an unknown, undersinsured or uninsured motorist. 


3.    Check your credit. You can do this for free, once per year per agency at This will help you spot identity theft and open cards you may have forgotten about.


4.    Check your house and land for hazards. Are their rotten trees overhanging your driveway? They kill people every year. Do you have a good fence around your pool? Is your dog dangerous or improperly secured?  Are your steps solid and stair railings tight? Are there hard to see holes or trip hazards in your yard? Is there plenty of lighting available at night? If you have cattle, are your fences in good shape without overhanging limbs or unlocked gates? 


5.     Do you have life insurance? Many do not. It is common for grief stricken widows to have to work two jobs to pay the funeral off. Is that your plan for your loved ones? Buy term insurance.


These few pointers may make a real difference for you this year. And, they are not nearly as hard as a resolution to lose some weight.