Legal Resource Material
Texas Personal Injury Law (Texas Personal Injury Practice Series)
Texas Personal Injury Forms: Texas Forms in Plain Language (Texas Personal Injury Practice Series)
Texas Practice Guide: Personal Injury
Texas Personal Injury Handbook
Know Your Rights - Texas
Now in its sixth edition, this popular guide uses a simple question-and-answer format to help you understand and solve many common legal problems. You can't exercise your legal rights if you don't know them! Softcover. DLC: Law--Texas.
Easy to use and informative, March 29, 2001
Reviewer: Greyson from Richardson, TX USA This book is divided into commonly used sections: property law, family law, etc. Each topic is then presented in specific question and answer form. It is nice that it specifically relates to Texas law, most books cover general US law and that is useless. Easy to understand and informative.
Winning Your Personal Injury Claim
Midwest Book Review
How To Win Your Personal Injury Claim debunks the myth that successful personal injury cases must be handled by a lawyer. Attorney Joseph Matthews' How To Win Your Personal Injury Claim provides a step-by-step "insider information" guide on how to navigate the claims process, calculate what a claim is worth, and negotiate a full and fair settlement. How To Win Your Personal Injury Claim tells how to protect your rights after an accident, gather evidence, prepare a claim, write a demand letter, avoid insurance company run-arounds, and obtain a full, fair settlement
Winning Your Personal Injury Claim: With Sample Forms and Worksheets (Legal Survival Guides)
While laws affecting personal injury have not changed dramatically since Winning Your Personal Injury Claim was first published, this new edition shares information consumers asked for after reading the first edition. The author now begins the book with a full overview of the personal injury litigation process, focusing especially on the important events that occur immediately after an accident. He stresses that the claim actually begins at that point and that one must be prepared to deal with all aspects of the situation. He provides suggestions for checklists that can be carried with you, as well as other valuable information to have on hand.
This new edition provides a more complete, step-by-step guide to pursuing a personal injury case without formal representation. It includes information regarding the different types of letters that need to be written--and the order in which they are sent--when a claim is being pursued. Many easy-to-use, blank tear-out forms are available in the back of the book.
About the Author
Evan Aidman received his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, an Ivy League institution, in 1983. After five years as an associate in various law firms, he decided to go into private practice. He currently is a trial lawyer in the area of personal injury in Wynwood, Pennsylvania.
Sue The Bastards!
Did someone violate your rights? Have you been rear-ended and unable to get reimbursed? Did a neighbor build a fence on your side of the property? Were you fired unfairly? Did someone harm your business? Are you thinking of suing? If so--or if someone is suing you--then you need Sue the Bastards!, a comprehensive resource that shows you how litigation really works. Far too many people are wronged, get worked up, and hire a fast-talking lawyer, only to find themselves stressed-out and in debt before the case has even been tried. But Gerry Fox, a top entertainment litigator who has won millions of dollars for his high-profile clients, attributes his success to planning, strategizing, and tempered reason, which you will find in abundance in this valuable book. With his sound advice, you will be in a better position to win your case and minimize the expense and wear and tear of the litigation process. In Sue the Bastards!, Gerry Fox and writer Jeff Nelson explain legal procedures, principles, and pitfalls in everyday language. This book will help you decide whether or not you even should sue. The authors offer an overview of the entire litigation process--from the decisions that go into filing a lawsuit and a complaint, through the discovery process, and ultimately to the trial. And in the process they offer valuable insights on such fundamental and important issues as finding the right attorney for your particular case, working well with your attorney, constructing a realistic budget, and considering alternative means of dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation. Gerald P. Fox is an attorney who has represented numerous celebrities, including Madonna, Anita Baker, Tom Waits, and M.C. Hammer. He has appeared on television shows such as Hard Copy, Entertainment Tonight, and Good Morning America. Jeffrey A. Nelson is a writer and producer in Los Angeles. He learned about litigation at the knee of Gerry Fox, who represented him in some hard-fought legal battles (which they won!).
To sue or not to sue, that is the question. "Sue the Bastards!" is a "litigation book" for anyone without a law degree who is considering a lawsuit.
David Ball on Damages: A Plaintiff's Attorney's Guide for Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases
Lawyers Weekly USA, May 15, 2001
The best thing for defense lawyers would be if their adversaries never read [this] book.
Bruce D. Rasmussen, Charlottesville, Virginia
"...an important and refreshing tool because it gives answers to the problems we face daily as trial lawyers."
Based on extensive research as well as the experience of lawyers and trial consultants across the country, this book supplies step-by-step practical guidance for attorneys seeking money for their clients. Popular author David Ball begins with the four basic principals of damages that shape juror decision making about money. He examines juror motivation for awarding and not-awarding compensation, especially for intangible damages. Ball examines going to trial with or without voir dire and discusses specific strategies to enhance damages during key aspects of the trial. While the book focuses on strategies and techniques for plaintiff's lawyers, any defense attorney would also benefit from Ball's instructions in this book.
About the Author
David Ball, Ph.D., is a nationally known jury and trial consultant. As President of Jury Watch, Inc., he has worked on hundreds of civil and criminal cases providing focus groups and mock trials as well as guidance in jury selection, case analysis and presentation, courtroom communications, and damages strategies. He has taught law students at a number of law schools including Duke University; Wake Forest University, the University of North Carolina, the University of Minnesota, and Campbell University. He also teaches trial advocacy skills to attorneys across the country for NITA, ATLA and other organizations. Dr. Ball is featured in the video Do Your Own Jury Focus Group distributed by NITA. He is the author of Theater Tips and Strategies for Jury Trials (NITA, 1997) and How to Do Your Own Focus Groups: A Guide for Trial Attorneys (NITA, 2001). He is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina.
Torts and Personal Injury Law
This book presents a thorough examination of tort law, combining the essential theoretical foundations with practical applications to demonstrate how the rules pertain to real practice. Torts and Personal Injury Law provides a comprehensive look at tort law and examines a number of issues including legal remedies for private and public nuisances, false imprisonment, statutes of limitations, proving negligence, defamation by computer as well as numerous other remedies of tort law. Activities at various litigation stages, pre-trial, during trial, and post-trial procedures are fully explored.
Personal Injury Forms: Discovery and Settlement
More practical than any other PI book. Forms, Forms, Forms!, January 14, 2002
Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim: (How to Evaluate and Settle Your Loss)
Reviewer: A reader from Clayton, MO USA We all know that billions of dollars are paid every year in personal injury settlements. But why aren't you getting yours? The answer is that you probably don't know the magic letters to send and how to fill out the "trick" forms the insurance company sends you. Well, to John Tarantino does, and he shares them with YOU.
In order to settle a personal injury claim without going to court, you need to know how "to paper" a file - and what buzzwords to use. All the forms you need are in this book. And it comes with a handy diskette, making rekeying unnecessary. What could be easier? Whether you're a personal injury claimant - or a lawyer tired of referring these cases out to your friends and want to learn the game - this book is a must have!
From the Publisher
This book covers every strategy, from the initial telephone calls to the medical examination and then finally the actual settlement, one should employ to obtain the best possible settlement of their claim. But the most important part of this revolutionary book is the introduction of The BASE Formula, The Baldyga Auto Accident Settlement Evaluation Formula. BASE is a never before known settlement tool that Baldyga has created. Experts are calling BASE "spectacular" and "amazing" because it explains, in simple, easy to understand language, exactly, right down to the last hundred dollar bill, how much ones "pain and suffering" is worth.
This is a great book!, December 18, 2002
Reviewer: Tracey Burke from Los Angeles, CA Because I'm surrounded by lawyers who argue and fight all the time I've read them all. I've always found all the other books on this subject matter to be too long and drawn out. Several of those on the market today are misleading to the point of being a downright "pitch" (a book written by a lawyer and reviewed by a lawyer) to con the reader into securing an attorney to handle their claim. (Question: How do I know that? Answer: Because 34 years ago I was born into a family of lawyers and we're always talking about such "stuff.") We all agree that Auto Accident Personal Injury Insurance Claim is, beyond the shadow of any doubt, the best of its kind on the market today.
Baldyga's book is easy to read, comprehensive and most importantly his outstanding instructions (plus his truly innovative BASE Formula--which absolutely places an accurate value n "pain and suffering") provides one with all the help they need to settle their claim for a much higher amount than they ever expected. I loved it and recommend it highly. (My family of lawyers were stunned by the "inside info"--some of which even they weren't aware of--that Mr. Baldyga has passed along in this fantastic book.)
Excellent source of information; buy it !, December 3, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from LA, CA I was in an accident and I bought Dan Baldyga's excellent book; I got a tremndous return on this purchase! The insurance people wanted to low-ball me; Baldyga's book taught me to hang in there for more cash, which I did. This book is easy to read and understand. He was an adjuster so he knows the game from the insurance perspective very well. I gave this book to my brother who is trying to settle his own claim; he got a bigger offer from the insurance company thanks to this great book.
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Auto Accident Personal Injury Claim, November 9, 2002
Reviewer: Vincent D.Ciancotti from Jupiter Florida Boy, am I glad I bought this book.I've read every book rearding vehicle asccident /personal injury. With a no fault condition.Some of them were ment to lead me to hire a lawyer,when it wasn't necessary.For me Baldygas book, is Best of it's kind on market today.Easy to read comprehensive and his instructions and BASE formula led me in the right direction.knowing how to value pain and suffereing, helped me to settle my case at a much higher amount than I every expected.If you don't want a lawyer buy it. You can settle with this information and the results will be all in your pocket.
Injury: Learning To Live Again
Really useful information for injured people!, June 25, 1998
Reviewer: A reader from Texas, USA It is very difficult to find useful information for people who have been injured except from the strictly medical information point of view. This book tells you how to take charge of your life when you feel so vulnerable. It begins with choosing a doctor if you don't like the one you have. Suggestions are offered for handling shock and facing changes in career and lifestyle. It gives valuable information about head injury. It addresses guilt from being a "burden" and helps you through the civil and criminal justice systems, including valuable tips about dealing with insurance companies. The author is a clinical psychologist who, herself, was seriously injured. I haven't found a book this helpful for the injured and their families anywhere.
Dispensing With the Truth: The Victims, the Drug Companies, and the Dramatic Story Behind the Battle over Fen-Phen
Mary Linnen, 29, was determined to lose 25 pounds before her wedding. In May 1996, her doctor prescribed a combination of drugs known as Fen-Phen. When Linnen complained of dizziness and shortness of breath 23 days after starting the medications, her doctor told her to stop the drugs--but didn't examine her or order tests. Linnen got better for a time, then the shortness of breath and exhaustion returned worse than ever. Her legs and stomach swelled. She collapsed at work. Six months after taking Fen-Phen, Linnen was admitted to the emergency room with primary pulmonary hypertension: the capillaries that sent oxygen to her lungs had thickened and were closing, suffocating her. Her survival expectation after heart surgery was less than four years. Hooked up to a tube in her chest to prevent heart failure, she died three months later.
Dispensing with the Truth: The Battle over Fen-Phen tells the story of the legal battle against the pharmaceutical companies after Fen-Phen's users started dying--some, like Linnen, of primary pulmonary hypertension; others of heart valve damage. Investigative reporter Alicia Mundy weaves a dramatic tale from the development of the drugs to FDA approval to the final litigation. How much did the pharmaceutical companies know about the risks long before most of the deaths? Plenty, according to the evidence Mundy reveals. Although at times the book seems overfilled with details that slow down the drama, if you want the complete, behind-the-scenes story of one of the most famous "profits over protection" cases, this book tells all. --Joan Price
From Publishers Weekly
H"You are going to hear about a diet pill combination that was a craze... one of the most remarkably profitable pharmaceutical undertakings in the history of the United States," said Alex MacDonald, as quoted here by Mundy, in his opening statement during the Mary Linnen case. Beginning with the death of Linnen, a young woman who took Fen-Phen for less than a month to lose a few pounds before her wedding and died of primary pulmonary hypertension less than a year later, Mundy's book reads like a medical thriller. But the story of the lives affected by the flawed obesity drug is all too true: approximately 45,000 women "were believed to have developed one of two different diseases linked to their lungs or their heart from taking the drugs"; 300,000 women were prepared to sue the manufacturer to pay for tests to determine if they were ill. Mundy, an investigative journalist and contributor to both Mediaweek and Washingtonian magazine, looks at all the players, including the victims, the resolute legal team, corporate giant Wyeth-Ayerst (the drug's maker), the elite medical community that defended it and the negligent FDA. It took the discovery of heart valve damage to force the drug off the market. The FDA knew of problems with the drug but for a variety of reasons, from bureaucratic sluggishness to cozy relationships with the pharmaceutical companies, remained silent. Mundy has turned an incredibly complex chain of events into a readable and moving narrative, reminisicent of A Civil Action, that engages the reader as it details these legal and personal battles. (May)Forecast: With so many Americans both overweight and diet-obsessed, St. Martin's is betting on a popular response to this book and is reporting a first printing of 75,000 copies. Elle and Self are giving extensive coverage to Mundy in their May issues, and a lengthy interview on NPR has been arranged. The author will be making appearances in New York City and Washington, D.C.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
The subject of this fascinating book is the first wrongful death suit brought against a diet drug, Fen-Phen, an event that Mundy sets in the context of drug companies' greed, publicity spinning, and power over the Food and Drug Administration. Mundy comprehensively and often grippingly details the plaintiffs' attorneys' search for facts, which ultimately accumulated millions of documents; their many depositions; their work on determining trial procedures; their practicing before mock courts that included "jurors" selected to give feedback; and then the trial itself. Simultaneously with those efforts, the two companies involved in the suit, Wyeth-Ayerst and its owner, American Home Products, spent more on PR countering reports of their products' ill effects than they originally had on testing their safety. The case's settlement for more than $10 million seems, however, more a capitulation than a victory, for Mary Linnen's parents and sister, as well as the jurors, had wanted a verdict to affirm unequivocally the drug companies' criminality and lack of interest in patients' welfare. William Beatty
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Sam Donaldson, Chief White House Correspondent for ABC
News, and co-anchor of This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts
"A great investigative reporter tells the story of how corporate greed and government incompetence combined to let a killer loose -- and what happened when the truth closed in. Read it and weep."
Barry Reed, author of The Verdict"This true-to-life courtroom drama reads like an edge-of-the-seat novel. It tops A Civil Action."
"An absorbing look at how the fen/phen diet craze destroyed lives and our illusions about drug safety... giving the tale a human face... a read that will have you gritting your teeth."
In 1996, a terrible epidemic began. Thousands of young women were stricken and many of them died. Some died quickly, within a few months; others lasted a couple of years. Many of those who didn't die suffered damage to their hearts and lungs, much of it permanent. Doctors suspected what the killer was. So did the Food and Drug Administration. The culprit was one-half of the most popular diet drug combination on the market, Fen-Phen. It was produced and sold by a powerful pharmaceutical company, Wyeth-Ayerst, a division of American Home Products.
Dispensing with the Truth is the gripping story of what the drug company really knew about its drugs, the ways it kept this information from the public, doctors, and the FDA and the massive legal battles that ensued as victims and their attorneys searched for the truth behind the debacle.
It tells the story of a healthy young woman, Mary Linnen, who took the drugs for only 23 days to lose weight before her wedding-and then died in the arms of her fiance a few months later. Hers was the first wrongful death suit filed and would become the most important single suit the company would face.
Award-winning investigative reporter Alicia Mundy provides a shocking and thoroughly riveting narrative account of the whole debacle. It is a stark look at the consequences of greed-and a cautionary tale for the future.
About the Author
ALICIA MUNDY is the Washington Bureau Chief for Mediaweek and a contributing editor at Washingtonian magazine. Her stories have appeared in U.S. News & World Report, GQ, Philadelphia Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. Mundy is the winner of several journalism awards for commentary and investigative reporting. She lives in Alexandria, Virginia.
Over Dose: The Case Against the Drug Companies: Prescription Drugs, Side Effects, and Your Health
From Publishers Weekly
Replete with information supported by recognized and reliable sources, this expos&Mac226;-cum-health guide should be read by anyone taking prescription medication. Cohen, an associate professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of California at San Diego, focuses on the practice of "standard dosing," i.e., the same number of milligrams prescribed for all patients; his articles about dosage have appeared in the New York Times and Newsweek. Asserting that different ages and conditions can affect how a drug is metabolized, and thus its effectiveness, Cohen advises to "Start Low, Go Slow." Lower doses often prove just as effective, and higher doses in the wrong person can be deadly. The chapters proceed logically, divided by families of drugs and, later, by FDA regulations, kickbacks to doctors from pharmaceutical companies, ghostwritten articles commissioned by pharmaceutical companies and attributed to independent doctors in trusted medical journals. Most importantly, Cohen discusses at length deadly and other irreversible side effects of new drugs, suggesting that warnings on drug packages are incomplete. He describes the pharmaceutical companies' practice of luring doctors to exotic weekend-long retreats for a two-hour symposium about a new product. Finally, Cohen gives insight into the doctor's Bible: The Physician's Desk Reference. Clear, easy narrative and anecdotal evidence makes this an accessible, albeit disturbing, read. This medical-biz gadfly delivers an invaluable resource for doctors and patients alike. (Oct. 15)Forecast: Given its nearly limitless potential audience, and with a national author tour kicked off by an appearance on the radio talk show People's Pharmacy, prominent display in stores could make sales take off.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Medications don't cause side effects their dosages do. That is the message sent by Cohen, a psychiatrist and professor of family medicine, in this repetitive but necessary expos&Mac226; of drug companies' marketing practices, physicians' prescribing behavior, and the inadequacy of dosing information in the Physicians' Desk Reference. Cohen argues that most adverse effects could be eliminated if doctors tailored a drug's dosage to an individual, but because manufacturers want to obtain approval for new drugs as quickly as possible, they do not perform adequate testing to determine the lowest effective amount. This can cause doctors to use a "one size fits all" mentality and prescribe like dosages for all patients. Cohen presents a plethora of practical information, including lower effective dosage recommendations for 53 top-selling drugs and a questionnaire for patients to determine how sensitive they are to medication. Numerous case studies, quotations from prominent researchers, and references support his premise that doctors should usually "start slow, go slow," and always individualize the dosage for each patient. Highly recommended for public and medical libraries. Natalie Kupferberg, Biological Sciences/ Pharmacy Lib., Ohio State Univ., Columbus
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
Only about 1 in 20 drug side effects are reported, Cohen says, and drug companies, the FDA, and most physicians pay little attention to them. When a new drug is approved, its manufacturer usually suggests a high dosage to obtain desired results quickly and maximize the company's profits. Drug package inserts, which give scientific and regulatory information, generally don't discuss lower doses, which often bring the same results without risking as many side effects, and The Physician's Desk Reference, often seen as a reliable information source, is a drug-industry product that pretty much reprints the inserts. Cohen's aim isn't to encourage avoiding popular drugs but to draw attention to effective lower doses and avoid side effects. Arguing that drug companies control much of the medical literature and slant research reports and accounts of side effects, he makes a convincing case for establishing a neutral drug safety board to prevent harmful situations fostered by industry disingenuousness. A thorough, solidly based book that deserves to be widely read by medical professionals and the lay public. William Beatty
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
Dr. Duane Graveline, physician and former astronaut
I would strongly recommend this book to be required reading for all. What a boost this would be for health care.
In late 1999, a headline in the New York Times read "Too Much of Good Thing? Doctor Challenges Drug Manual." The article described Dr. Jay S. Cohen's new report maintaining that the recommended doses in the Physicians' Desk Reference are too high for many people and are causing a slew of unnecessary adverse reactions, "ranging from dizziness and nausea all the way to death."
Drug reactions in hospitals are among the nation's leading causes of death, killing more than one hundred thousand Americans every year. What's more, the "side effect epidemic" causes many people-as high as 50 percent of those on blood-pressure medication-to discontinue treatment.
The problem, reports Dr. Cohen in this vital book, stems not only from poor research on the part of the drug companies, but from a deliberate effort to create easy, one-size-fits-all dosages that both appeal to doctors and produce artificially inflated effectiveness statistics.
In Over Dose, Dr. Cohen does more than expose drug company misdeeds-he shows consumers exactly how to monitor and control their own drug intake. He offers practical information on the potential dangers and safe uses of the nation's bestselling drugs, including Prozac, Claritin, Viagra, Lipitor, and a wide range of estrogen-replacement, anti-inflammatory, and blood-pressure medications.
(Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam) Consumer text shows how Americans are being overmedicated, resulting in millions of avoidable side effects, and how consumers can protect their health. Reveals how drug companies slant drug research, skew reported findings, hide unfavorable research, and manipulate the publishing process.
About the Author
Jay S. Cohen, M.D., is an associate professor of Family and Preventative Medicine and of Psychiatry at the University of California in San Diego.
Prescription for Disaster: the Hidden Dangers in Your Medicine Cabinet by Thomas J. Moore (Hardcover)
We've all heard the stories of allergy drugs that caused toxic reactions when taken with other medications, painkillers that caused liver damage in people who also drink a lot of alcohol, or antidepressants that ruin some users' sex lives. In fact, "there is no such thing as a safe drug," asserts Thomas J. Moore, who researched drug safety as a senior fellow in health policy at George Washington University. Moore is something of a drug doomsayer, and many readers of this book will join him in his fears. He asserts that drug companies are not above manipulating information about their products--an especially egregious situation, since doctors get much of their information about drugs from the manufacturers themselves. For instance, he notes that a report by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration concluded that the company that manufactures the sleep aid Halcion "vigorously sought to suppress the publication of unfavorable studies and attempted to silence Halcion critics." Moore appears to have done massive research, and he documents his stories of the development and approval of dozens of drugs with extensive footnotes. (It would be interesting to hear a response from the pharmaceutical companies and the FDA.) By focusing on dangers, side effects, and flawed clinical trials, Moore gives short shrift to the real benefits of many medications--but that's not the point here. Instead, he makes a strong case for drug users to be careful consumers and take note of their own individual reactions to medications, rather than leaving it up to their doctors or anyone else. --Ben Kallen
The New York Times Book Review, Jacqueline Boone
He presents ample and alarming evidence of an often "unforgivably sloppy system" of drug safety controls.... He is also quick to caution that "mindless fear" about the hazards of drugs is a reaction every bit as ill-advised as succumbing to "blind faith" in their benefits.
Moore writes superbly and unsensationally about the woes of prescription drugs. Sure, he relays some horror stories of mistaken medication, but he does it not to rabble-rouse but to focus attention on specific problems, such as the use of medicine too strong for the particular complaint or the careless prescribing of contraindicated drugs to the same patient. He carefully manages his material and his tone in order to thrust home his main points: that pharmaceuticals requiring prescription are powerful and incompletely understood by manufacturers and doctors as well as patients; that the barriers to better understanding are endemic to our system of producing, testing, marketing, and using drugs; and that proactive patients can change a situation in which more die yearly from inappropriate prescriptions than from murder, suicide, and all transportation accidents combined--even if they change it only for themselves, one by one. Riveting in its exposition and cogent in its practical advice--if this is muckraking, it is sober, well-balanced, and fair-minded muckraking. Ray Olson
From Kirkus Reviews
The master at arousing controversy in the world of health and medicine (Health Failure, 1989; Lifespan, 1993; etc.) is at it again, this time with the word on why there's no such thing as a safe drug. Moore knows how to get his message across: with memorable statistics (e.g., prescription drugs are involved in 100,000 deaths a year, more than twice the death toll from auto accidents); with a plenitude of illustrative anecdotes, meant to chill the blood; and with well-documented supplementary research to back up his claims. He begins by looking closely at why, by their nature, the potent prescription drugs of modern medicine pose unpredictable and varied hazards. Moore primarily faults the FDA for inadequate long-term drug testing and poor monitoring of drug safety, but he also assigns blame to doctors themselves for too often prescribing inappropriate drugs and for not giving patients sufficient information about the potential adverse effects of medications. Consumers, too, can compound such commonplace problems if they aren't alert to the risks. Accordingly, the final portion of the book tells us how to protect ourselves. Moore explains some of the medical terms found printed on drug labels and guides readers in how to interpret various warnings. He also suggests appropriate diplomatic tactics to follow when talking with one's physician about remedies; included is a helpful list of questions to bring along. The book's main concern--that too little is known about how frequently prescription drugs cause trouble for patients--may come to seem a tad obvious. Yet one statistic here cited--that consumers have about a one-in-five chance of being treated with an unsuitable or dangerous drug--is, if accurate, genuinely disturbing. The key to improving the system, Moore says, is an informed, concerned, and even demanding public, which this book is designed to create. Vintage Moore--sharp, readable, persuasive. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
From Book News, Inc.
A senior fellow in health policy at the George Washington University Medical Center with a background in investigative journalism demonstrates the dangerous flaws in the system that makes prescription drugs available and looks at adverse effects of many common drugs, drawing on scientific studies from mainstream medicine. He explains how to become an informed consumer and minimize chances of being hospitalized or injured by medication. Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR
Become an informed consumer--learn how to get the greatest benefits from prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, and natural compounds at the lowest risk.
The long-term safety of Ritalin is unknown, yet hundreds of thousands of children take it daily. Prozac is linked to 242 adverse effects. Xanax can be highly addictive. But most doctors don't warn patients about the risks of the medication they prescribe. What can you do?
This groundbreaking book sounds a clear warning about the serious health risks associated with prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications--and exposes the side effects that kill 100,000 people a year and put another million in the hospital. Consumer advocate and prizewinning investigative journalist Thomas Moore reveals the shocking truth about the dangers you face each time you swallow a pill, offering invaluable advice on becoming an informed consumer--and keeping yourself and your family safe.
* The riskiest prescriptions
* The potential dangers of cough syrups, pain relievers, cold medicine, diet pills--and other over-the-counter medications
* Lethal drug combinations
* Crucial information you can get from your pharmacist
* Messages to watch for in the drug package insert
* Important information on: Ritalin, Prozac, Premarin, Zocor, Procardia, Coumadin, Darvon, Halcion, ibuprofen, beta-carotene, Lanoxin, and more--
--This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
About the Author
Thomas J. Moore has spent six years researching and writing about the safety of prescription drugs as a senior fellow in health policy at the George Washington Medical Center. His previous book, Deadly Medicine, documented the tragedy in which tens of thousands of heart patients died from drugs that caused cardiac arrest. He has testified before Congress and lectured at universities and medical centers. Before turning to full-time research on health issues, he was a prizewinning investigative reporter and worked for the U.S. Senate staff. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.
Deadly Medicine: Why Tens of Thousands of Heart Patients Died in America'a Worst Drug Disaster
Reveals the research reports that cited unusual patient deaths that occurred while testing the heart drug Tambocor and traces how the unsafe drug, and several like it, were released anyway, resulting in the deaths of thousands. 60,000 first printing.
A must read on drug effectiveness and commercialization, August 15, 2000
Reviewer: Andrew J Brunskill from Seattle WA USA This is an excellent account of the effects of allowing marketing of Tamnbocor (flecainide) as an anti-arrhythmic based on "surrogate" intermediate endpoints. Later there was recognition that in fact the drug was associated with increased cardiac death rates when a "gold standard" randomized controlled trial was undertaken. It also shows the problematic relationships between the payment and support of academic researchers into drug effectiveness and the drug firms, many of whose products have been life saving and life transforming. A very well balanced book and very enjoyable reading. The author erroneously describes RA Fisher as an American Genius which would irritate the very English (& later Australian) Cambridge professor of Genetics!
Unbelievable but TRUE story how prescription drugs kill!, July 6, 1999
Reviewer: Dr. G.F.Gordon from Payson Arizona This important investigative work explains HOW and WHY the American Pharmaceutical Industry KILLS and no one seems seriously interested in stopping it, least of all the FDA! Legally prescribed drugs are now the 4th LEADING cause of death in the US. We are trying to change this by helping to train physicians and the public to use natural approaches instead of drugs, inspite of the continous FDA and FTC harrassment of all doctors in Alternative Medicine. Our system that financially rewards doctors millions of dollars for KILLING people is seriously out of control. If natural therapies are even alleged to have slightly harmed even 1 patient, the FDA stands ready to seize ALL of the supplies and put everyone involved in jail. Yet drugs are provably killing over 100,000 each year and the GAME goes on. I believe this book could help everyone understand that this must all change and soon. This book merely describes the tip of the iceberg and the 70,000 dead from these heart medicines described in detail here, is just a fraction of the real number needlessly killed by American medicine and surgery everyday at great taxpayor expense. WE have safe and EFFECTIVE alternatives to virtually every drug, including aspirin (not tylenol!) and most heart surgery is done on the WRONG plaque and does not significantly reduce the likelihood of a heart attack. There are SAFE natural alternatives not just for heart disease but for virtually every one of the major diseases today! contact G.F. Gordon M.D.D.O. President Gordonresearch.com and InCALM.com 1-520-472-9086 Payson AZ
Important piece of the jigsaw showing unscientific medicine, December 21, 1997
Reviewer: Don.Benjamin@tip.csiro.au from Sydney, Australia Ralph Moss wrote an excellent review of this book in the Spring 1997 edition of the Cancer Chronicles. I am writing only to put his review into context. There have been many books written describing the shortcomings of medicine, particularly those questioning claims of the efficacy of medical intervention. These include Robert Mendelsohn's Confessions of A Medical Heretic; Richard Taylor's Medicine out of Control; Ivan Illich's Medical Nemesis; the New Medical Foundation's Dissent in Medicine; Samuel Epstein's The Politics of Cancer; Ralph Moss' Cancer Industry and Questioning Chemotherapy; Ulrich Abel's Chemotherapy of advanced epithelial cancer - a critical survey; What Doctors Don't Tell You's Cancer Handbook, What's Really Working; and Neville Hodgkinson's AIDS, the failure of scientific medicine. (I have also published two papers questioning the efficacy of surgical treatment of cancer in Medical Hypotheses.) These together support and explain the claim in the editorial in the British Medical Journal of October 1991 (Vol 303: 198-99) "Where is the wisdom...? The poverty of medical evidence" that "Only about 15% of medical interventions are supported by solid evidence... This is partly because only 1% of the articles in medical journals are scientifically sound". Thomas Moore's earlier (1989) book Heart Failure describes the poor record of treating heart problems with bypass surgery, balloon angioplasty and drugs to lower serum cholesterol. Moore's more recent book homes in on particular drugs such as those used to treat arrhythmia. With deaths from heart disease accounting for more than 40% of all deaths these two books on the inefficacy of treatments for heart problems fill an important gap. As a scientist I found the section explaining how "surrogate endpoints" are used instead of actual therapeutic benefits to test efficacy particularly useful. It explains why so many claims for the efficacy of chemotherapy are invalid. It is a pity that the book is now out of print.
Prozac Backlash : Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Other Antidepressants with Safe, Effective Alternatives
It seems like it was just yesterday that Prozac was a miracle pill, a medication that could not only make sick people well, but "better than well."
By the end of the 1990s, Prozac and similar drugs--Paxil, Zoloft, and others--were being prescribed for everything from depression to anxiety to drug addiction to ADD. About 70 percent of prescriptions for these antidepressants were being written by family physicians, rather than psychiatrists.
Dr. Joseph Glenmullen, a psychiatrist who has a private practice and also works for Harvard University Health Services, sees this antidepressant mania as dangerous, even reckless. He notes that these drugs can have severe side effects, including uncontrollable facial and body tics, which could be signs of severe and permanent brain damage. About 50 percent of patients suffer often-debilitating withdrawal symptoms from them, and about 60 percent end up with sexual dysfunction. And Prozac may make a small number of people homicidal or suicidal, or both.
But there are alternatives: in Germany, for example, St. John's wort outsells Prozac 25 to 1, showing that doctors and patients there understand that the herbal remedy works as well as the synthetic ones for mild to moderate depression. [Editor's note: St. John's wort has been shown to interfere with the actions of the transplant rejection drug cyclosporin and the AIDS drug indinivir.] And diet, exercise, 12-step programs, and good old-fashioned psychotherapy can work well, too. Even for severe depression requiring medication, Dr. Glenmullen shows how the drugs can be used with other treatments and then discontinued after a year or less.
Moreover, Prozac Backlash discusses exactly what depression is and isn't; Dr. Glenmullen reviews hundreds of scientific studies, and discusses numerous case studies from his practice and others. Because of that detail, medical professionals may be this book's most likely readers, but anyone who has been on an antidepressant, or is close to someone who is, will also want to give Prozac Backlash a careful read. The brain you save could be your own. --Lou Schuler
Joseph Glenmullen indicts the health industry for dangerous malfeasance, presenting evidence that talk therapy is actually more effective than the much-touted new drugs. Glenmullen criticizes influential "studies" of the new serotonin boosters--often tainted by the researchers' conflicts of interest ("consulting" fees and the like from the companies whose products they are supposedly evaluating). He concludes that the Prozac-type drugs do no better than older, cheaper drugs, or even cocaine, nicotine, and caffeine. The research published in top journals is often so shoddy, and the reporting so selective, that doctors are often as ill-informed as their patients about new drugs.
Meanwhile, the diminishing number of doctors who are informed are shunted aside. Managed care companies have shifted decision-making away from psychiatrists (to a far greater extent than they have done with other specialists) toward primary-care physicians. These overworked "gatekeepers" of the managed-care inferno cannot hope to keep up with independent research. They can hardly be blamed when they rely on the pseudoscience that pharmaceutical companies bombard them with. (Beliefnet, July 2000)
From Kirkus Reviews
PROZAC BACKLASH: Overcoming the Dangers of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Other Antidepressants with Safe, Effective Alternatives Simon & Schuster (384 pp.) $25.00 A psychiatrist cites research and his own clinical experience to sound a compelling warning about the hazards of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants. Glenmullen (The Pornographer's Grief and Other Tales of Human Sexuality,1993), a clinical instructor at Harvard Medical School, uses the term "Prozac backlash" to describe the brain's reaction to changes in serotonin levels brought about by SSRIs such as Prozac. These reactions are, he believes, responsible for serious neurological side effects such as tics, agitation, muscle spasms, and parkinsonism. Other drawbacks of SSRIs cited by Glenmullen are disturbing withdrawal symptoms, drug dependence, sexual dysfunction, and an association with violence and suicide. While acknowledging they have short-term value for symptomatic relief, Glenmullen asserts that some 75 percent of patients are on SSRIs needlessly. He argues vehemently against their casual, long-term use and demands better monitoring of patients. He explores (and deplores) the influence of cost-conscious HMOs, psychopharmacology's application of a biological model to psychological syndromes, and the power of the pharmaceutical industry on the increase in the use of SSRIs. Using patients' stories from his own practice, he illustrates both the dangers of long-term SSRIs use and the benefits of alternative approaches. Numerous case studies demonstrate his success in treating patients suffering from anxiety, depression, addictions, and eating disorders using psychotherapy of various kindscognitive, behavioral, twelve-step, group, individual, family, or couplesometimes in combination with herbal remedies such as St. John's wort, kava, or valerian, and when necessary with Valium-type drugs. Glenmullen concludes by calling for more research on the neurotoxicity of SSRIs, better warnings to doctors and patients about their potential side effects, curbs on excessive promotion of these drugs, and closer scrutiny of their use with children. A controversial message, alarming for SSRI-takers and anathema to SSRI-makers, but bound to please his fellow talk therapists.-- Copyright © 2000 Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Roughly 28 million Americans -- one in every ten -- have taken Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil or a similar antidepressant, yet very few patients are aware of the dangers of these drugs, nor are they aware that better, safer alternatives exist. Now Harvard Medical School's Dr. Joseph Glenmullen documents the ominous long-term side effects associated with these and other serotonin-boosting medications. These side effects include neurological disorders, such as disfiguring facial and whole-body tics that can indicate brain damage; sexual dysfunction in up to 60 percent of users; debilitating withdrawal symptoms, including visual hallucinations, electric shock-like sensations in the brain, dizziness, nausea, and anxiety; and a decrease of antidepressant effectiveness in about 35 percent of long-term users. In addition, Dr. Glenmullen's research and riveting case studies shed shocking new light on the direct link between these drugs and suicide and violence.
Prozac Backlash provides authoritative, balanced information on the efficacy of these drugs, explaining how they react chemically in the body, when they should and should not be prescribed, and what risks they present. Equally important, the book informs readers of the many safe, effective alternatives to using such drugs -- alternatives that can restore your spirits, keep your weight down, and make your sex life as vital as ever. Dr. Glenmullen argues that antidepressant drug therapy is justified only in moderate to severe cases -- no more than 25 percent of patients currently taking these drugs -- and that we should avoid patients' exposure to these drugs whenever possible. The dangerous side effects, he points out, are caused by Prozac backlash, which is the brain's reaction to artificially elevated levels of serotonin.
Using vivid real-life stories from his work at Harvard, his private practice, and the latest medical research, Dr. Glenmullen explains the real role of serotonin in depression and challenges the popular, hypothetical notion of a "serotonin deficiency" allegedly corrected by the drugs. He relates the research history of Prozac and similar drugs, and includes disturbing facts about the influence of drug companies and HMOs on media representation of that research.
Prozac Backlash offers new hope to millions with effective alternative treatments, including psychotherapy, cognitive-behavioral treatment, herbal remedies like St. John's wort, family therapy, and twelve-step programs. Dr. Glenmullen shows how these alternatives work not only for depression but for a wide range of problems, such as anxiety, phobias, obsessions, compulsions, sexual addictions, drug and alcohol abuse, and eating disorders. He also provides countless examples of the successful application of these treatments where drug exposure has been reduced or eliminated altogether.
Written by a doctor with impeccable credentials, Prozac Backlash is filled with compelling, sometimes heartrending stories and is thoroughly documented with extensive scientific sources. It is both provocative and hopeful, a sound, reliable guide to the safe treatment of depression and other psychiatric problems.
Prozac and the New Antidepressants: What You Need to Know About Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Luvox, Wellbutrin, Effexor, Serzone, Vestra, Celexa, St. John's Wort, and Others by William S. Appleton (Paperback)
When the original edition of Prozac and the New Antidepressants was published just three years ago, more than eleven million people were taking Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and the other "new antidepressants"-amid a swirling national debate about their effectiveness, their dangers, and their societal implications. Today the number is estimated to have almost doubled, and the number of new drugs being used to treat depression has also increased significantly. But what do most of these people really know about these so-called miracle drugs? In this practical and user-friendly guide, Harvard Medical School professor William Appleton answers all the important basic questions, including:
How do I know if I need to take an antidepressant?
What are the various side effects?
Which antidepressant is right for me?
How will it affect my personality?
What can I do if none of the drugs can help me?
This completely revised and updated edition examines current trends in the ongoing debate about antidepressants, including a discussion of the herbal remedy St. John's Wort and up-to-the-minute information on all the latest medications being used to treat depression.
About the Author
William Appleton, M.D., is a psychiatrist who teaches at Harvard Medical School and has an active private practice. He is the author of several books and for nine years his column, "Analyst's Couch," ran in Cosmopolitan. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Anti-Depressant Fact Book: What Your Doctor Won't Tell You About Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Celexa, and Luvox by Peter R. Breggin, M.D. Peter R. Breggin (Paperback)
From Book News, Inc.
Breggin, a psychiatrist for 30 years and director of the Center for Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, discusses the meaning of depression and the many and various impacts on the brain of SSRI antidepressants, including, of course their dangers and the bad effects they have on some people, and the difficulties of withdrawal. He also talks about erroneous public perceptions of the drug approval process, and the deceptions of the drug industry; and he gives suggestions for patients and therapists regarding overcoming depression without reliance on drugs.Book News, Inc.®, Portland, OR
By the author of Talking Back to Prozac and Your Drug May Be Your Problem, the answers to over 100 questions about antidepressants.
Known as "the Ralph Nader of psychiatry," Dr. Peter Breggin has been the medical expert in countless court cases involving the use or misuse of psychoactive medications. This unusual position has given him unprecedented access to private pharmaceutical research and correspondence files, information from which informs this straight-talking guide to the most prescribed and controversial category of American drugs: antidepressants. From how these drugs work in the brain to how they treat (or don't treat) depression and obsessive-compulsive, panic, and other disorders; from the documented side and withdrawal effects to what every parent needs to know about antidepressants and teenagers, The Anti-Depressant Fact Book is up-to-the minute and easy-to-access. Hard-hitting and enlightening, every current, former, and prospective antidepressant-user will want to read this book.
About the Author
With a background that Time magazine describes as "pure establishment"-Harvard College, Case Western Reserve Medical School, and a teaching fellowship at Harvard Medical School- Peter R. Breggin, M.D., has become an internationally known psychiatrist and author of a dozen books. The International Director of the Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology, Dr. Breggin lives in Bethesda, Maryland.
Prozac: Panacea or Pandora? the Rest of the Story on the New Class of Ssri Antidepressants Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lovan, Luvox & More. by Chase Shephard
SSRI's = death of self!, August 12, 2002
Reviewer: hugthecat (see more about me) from United States I was very impressed with the amount of research that went into this book. It has given me the courage to do something about the condition the SSRI's have put me in. Yes, most every one who takes an SSRI at first thinks they are great. Then over the years as the dosages have to be increased (proves the addictive nature of these drugs) and the side affects mount, one slowly changes their mind (If they are still capable of having a coherent thought anymore!) about the so called miracle drug. Once a savior, then turns into a demon.
I personally have lost my sense of self. I have short term memory problems where once my memory was phenomenal. I talk contstantly and can not seem to stop due to the muddled state the SSRI has put my mind in. Maybe I don't cry as much anymore but I don't laugh much either. I used to have many friends and now, I am so different and have not clue 1 how to make a friend. Maybe I just don't care. Drugged up I guess! People who know me now since the SSRI hell started really have no clue who I really am, this includes my own daughter. This saddens me. My entire personality has changed, some alternate being has take me over. I am easily confused and have trouble following a conversation.
As far as no lethal side effects how is sucide and murder and the lost of one's own mind (death of self) for lethal side effects! And the loss of my ability to really love anyone or care about anything, I find to be lethal as well. I might be easier to live with becauce I get angry less and am less irritable and I don't cry as much but at what cost? Just drug the patient and put them on a shelf and say they are cured cause they have lost the will and courage to stand up and shout, let me out of here, Zoloft has taken over. I am still under here, HELP!
I do find the book hard to digest due to the way it is written. It was written more for the professional than the patient. The average MD has to have cold hard facts and of cource kickbacks from the drug companies to believe anything.
It would have been nice to included a resource list of "real" doctors willing to help people get the heck off this poison. I felt this book did as superb job of identifing the problem, even though in my drugged state is was confusing to read, but no real concrete advice on what to do about it.
There is no such thing as a Zoloft/paxil/prozac deficiency, except in the mind of the almighty drug companies. (drug pushers would be a better name for them)
If you are depressed there are other answers out there other than SSRI's. The liver being full of toxins is said to be a cause of depression. That is where I plan to focus my healing. It took me two years to slowing come off Valium and am currently withdrawing from Neuronin which is even a more addictive drug and is harder to come of. It will probably take at least 3 years to totally be free of it and then years to come off the Zoloft. Then I will be Free, except for the damage these drugs have done to my system. If I had it to do again I would have taken a diffent path.
Thanks for writing this valuable book, without it I may never have connected my dwindling health to the SSRI's.
Phenylpropanolamine: Risks, Benefits and Controversies (Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics Series)
Phenylpropanolamine is an ingredient of many prescriptions and over-the-counter cough and cold products because its vasoconstrictive properteis decongest the stuffy nose. However, a number of reports of untoward clinical events related to the use or misuses of PPA in illegal and legal products has emerged. This volume contains 23 expert papers focusing on the benefits and risks of phenylpropanolamine, and on the issues of self-medication and OTC distribution of medication. The topics discussed in the work cover the basic and clinical applications of PPA, its liability regarding cardiovascular texicity, its possible relation to nervous system stimulation and behavioral toxicity, and its abuse liability. Tables, and figures.
Meridia: The Weight-Loss Breakthrough : Everything You Need to Know About the FDA-Approved Weight-Loss Pill
(Note: This is a PRO-Meridia book, but possibly contains some useful information)
You probably have heard of Meridia, the safest and most effective appetite-suppressant pill on the market today. This new wonder drug is offering millions of people across the country the promise of a healthier future. But, is Meridia right for you? Where can you get an objective second opinion?
The answers are in this book. In clear and understandable language, Dr. Othniel Seiden gives you all the facts about Meridia and its place in your weight-control program and shows you how you can reach your fitness potential with minimal pain yet maximal gain!
With this book, you'll learn how to:
Use Meridia safely and effectively
Develop an enjoyable exercise program that will bring you fitness you never thought possible
Set realistic goals for your health and lifestyle goals that will make your life more fulfilled
Put an end to yo-yo dieting. Forget fad diets. With Meridia: The Weight-Loss Breakthrough, end self-denial forever and concentrate on getting fit!
Chemical Injury and the Courts: A Litigation Guide for Clients and Their Attorneys
A chemical injury can happen at any time to anyone, regardless of age, background, or economic status. It can happen either on the job or in the home, and can affect many members of a community. Such an injury often does not show up immediately but develops over a long period. Often, however, sufferers from chemical exposure are victimized not only by the chemicals but also by a legal system that seems to require complicated and expensive court action.
This helpful guide to chemical-injury litigation offers practical strategies that clients and their attorneys can use to better serve their cases. Presenting a clear blueprint of client rights and responsibilities, the book will improve the standard of legal services for both individuals and communities. The guide addresses in detail several important areas of chemical injury and the legal process: defining problems and solutions; examining available resources; cultivating a knowledge of chemical-related diseases and injuries; and facilitating effective attorney-client relationships and case strategies. Leading attorneys contribute case studies and essays offering perspectives on chemical injury and the law.
About the Author
Founder and executive director of the Environmental Health Network, Linda Price King has 20 years' organizational experience with health-impaired individuals and job-damaged workers and over 15 years' experience speaking to universities, law libraries, and medical libraries. The recipient of A.C.T.I.O.N.'s 1991 Environmentalist of the Year Award, the C.C.H.W.'s 1993 Service Award, and the Sierra Club's Legal Defense Fund Seed of Success Award, Ms. King lives in Chesapeake, Virginia.
Damages: One Family's Legal Struggles in the World of Medicine
On April 1, 1984, Donna Sabia went into labor expecting twins. But one of the babies arrived stillborn, while the other--Anthony Jr.--was barely alive, with an Apgar score (rating newborn vitality on a scale of 0 to 10) of 1. In the following years, he suffered from spastic quadriplegia, cerebral palsy, and cortical blindness, and would require lifelong medical attention costing millions of dollars just to survive. The Sabias' lawyers faulted Donna's maternity clinic and the delivering physician for her son's condition, initiating a 7-year lawsuit on the claim that a simple $40 ultrasound could have eliminated incalculable suffering and catastrophic expense.
Damages is a careful analysis of how the fields of law and medicine intersect in the realm of medical malpractice, where lawyers sue not only to redress suffering but to make sure that doctors and hospitals are more vigilant in the future, if only to avoid being sued again. Werth leads readers carefully through the litigation, from the deposing of expert witnesses, through the preparation for trial, to the posturing of settlement negotiations. Always firmly aware that lawyers sue doctors on behalf of human beings, however, he reveals the emotional and psychological consequences of a civil justice system that is often neither civil nor just. Werth explains esoteric legal and medical procedures in understandable terms that laypeople will not find condescending, while describing the human side of the Sabias' case without patronizing attorneys and physicians. Ultimately, Damages is the chronicle of a devoted family braving a medical malpractice industry in which the decision-making process on both sides is governed by a cost-benefit analysis that leads, perhaps inevitably, to the commodification of human life. "Even after a big verdict," Werth quotes one malpractice lawyer, "I'm suffering because all I could get my clients, who've been brutalized by the most appalling malpractice, was money." --Tim Hogan
From The New England Journal of Medicine, November 19, 1998
For readers steeped in the literature of medical malpractice, this excellent, well-written book takes a novel, insightful, and humane approach. On the basis of records and detailed interviews with physicians, lawyers, other experts, and insurance representatives as well as the parties involved in the case, the book covers approximately 10 years of a lawsuit and the life of the participants, from its beginning in March 1983 with the birth of twins, one dead, the other severely disabled, until its resolution in December 1993. The book documents the agony of the family, which suffered a severe medical misfortune, and the anguish of the defendants, who suffered complete disarray of their professional and personal lives, great injury to their self-esteem, and substantial harm to their reputations. Unlike so many works on the subject of medicine and the law, this book neither exalts nor demonizes the lawyers and physicians who were cast as opponents by circumstances and events.
Anthony and Donna Sabia were in their mid-20s when they met and got married. In March 1983, at the end of what appeared to be a normal and uneventful pregnancy, Donna went to Norwalk Hospital in Norwalk, Connecticut, for the delivery of her twins. Until then she had been a patient at a local maternity clinic because money was in short supply. The Norwalk Maternity Clinic was staffed by nurse midwives. It had no regular in-house physicians, and the 12 affiliated obstetrician-gynecologists saw clinic patients only about five days a year and on weekends, but only if they were called for deliveries. From the very first, one twin weighed 18 percent more than the other twin. An ultrasound examination on January 27 showed that everything was normal. Although twins are likely to be born after 37 weeks of pregnancy, Donna went into labor at the end of the 38th week, 1 week late. Dr. Maryellen Humes, a knowledgeable and respected physician, was called in for the delivery. She had never seen Donna before. Donna was in such a state of agitation that she was practically unmanageable, and Humes, who had other tasks to perform in addition to the delivery of Donna's children, could not consider any late-stage intrauterine monitoring or, in what became a legal question later, a cesarean section. Before any other decision could be made, Donna delivered spontaneously. The first twin was born dead, and had apparently been dead for 18 to 24 hours before birth. The other twin was born in very poor condition, with an Apgar score of 1, the lowest score on this scale of viability, on which 0 indicates death.
The Sabias, saddened by the death of one of their twins, appeared not to have been told about and did not comprehend the disabilities of the second twin, "little Tony," when he was born. It took them a year to realize what a sick child they had. They did not realize that little Tony was blind. They did not think of complaining or of bringing any kind of action against Humes or the hospital until Tony was about two years old, when Donna met another mother whose child had cerebral palsy as a result of a birth injury. It was only after talking to this acquaintance -- another patient of Humes's -- that she began to realize that Tony's limited responses, his failure to gain weight and to suck adequately, his tiny size, and his frequent seizures showed how wrong things were. When Tony was 15 months old, he weighed less than 12 pounds, the circumference of his head was below the 5th percentile for his age, and he suffered from "breath-holding spells." He had been sent home with instructions for a high-calorie diet; Donna and Anthony had never received a diagnosis from the hospital. It was only later that the hospital informed Donna that Tony had cerebral palsy, encephalopathy, and postseizure disorders. At this early stage, Tony had some minimal reactions, which were taken as signs of progress by his parents, but they did not understand the gravity of his condition until after they terminated their connection with Norwalk Hospital and consulted a private pediatrician.
The child's disabilities were overwhelming. He was blind, quadriplegic, and mentally retarded. He was unable to eat, speak, or control his bodily functions, and he had the intelligence of only a very young infant. He had to be fed through a valve in his stomach, and it was clear that he had no way of recognizing the presence of his parents or other persons nearby. There was evidence that he was capable of some physical satisfactions when he was free of seizures and of pain and when his physical needs were met by his father and mother.
Anthony and Donna had another child after Tony was born. Anthony was working 80 hours a week and Donna tried to hold several jobs while tied to Tony and his continuing helplessness and needs. The enormous pressures, both emotional and economic, took their toll and almost wrecked the marriage. The Sabias were referred to the prominent "med-mal" law firm of Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder by the same acquaintance who had first alerted them to Tony's serious problems.
The book recounts in great detail the legal steps taken during the next eight years, avoiding a dry account of the technicalities of medical malpractice law but explaining the rationale and structure of this lawsuit. Even though the lawsuit ended in a settlement after mediation, the success of the mediation and the ultimate results of the lawsuit depended on detailed preparation for the trial and the conscientious pretrial depositions of some of the leading specialists in the management of risky pregnancies. The expertise that had to be arrayed to explain and recount Donna Sabia's pregnancy and delivery is most impressive. The enormous effort on the part of the lawyers to bring a successful action in a difficult medical-malpractice case, or to defend such an action successfully, demonstrates that both physicians and lawyers make their living honestly.
In general, a plaintiff's suit for medical malpractice alleges negligence on the part of the physician or hospital and cites a series of failures to meet the standards of practice and failures to take the necessary steps in the care of a patient, as in this case of a high-risk pregnancy. Beginning early in Donna's pregnancy, there was a discordancy in the twins' weights, which should have been taken as a warning of substantial problems, but no clinical studies were performed. At the end of her term, about a week before the delivery, Donna was seen by a nurse midwife, who heard two fetal heartbeats and did not suspect or report anything wrong. Donna was not seen by Humes until a week later, when she went into labor at more than 38 weeks' gestation. At that time, Humes, who had not seen her before, found only one fetal heartbeat. The twin who was born barely alive suffered from anemia and hypoxia; the dead twin was growth-retarded. The departures from the standard of care, plaintiffs asserted, were failure to perform an ultrasound examination in the third trimester and to perform studies of fetal well-being and serial nonstress tests because of the discordancy in the twins' weights. Another alleged failure was the absence of experienced medical personnel until the time of delivery; the physician had to carry out a complicated delivery without any previous knowledge of the patient. Another claimed omission was the failure to do electronic fetal monitoring in the last trimester. Although there was a question as to whether electronic fetal monitoring was the standard of practice in 1983, the procedure was available and should have been used in this high-risk situation. It was also claimed that the hospital failed to follow its own standards of procedure, which called for greater physician involvement in complicated pregnancies.
Had all of this been done, the twins could have been delivered by cesarean section before the death of Michael Sabia, the stillborn twin. Michael's death resulted in a drop in blood pressure caused by bleeding from the live twin to the dead twin. This shock caused the hypoxia, leading to brain damage and ultimately cerebral palsy and other severe disabilities. The evidence was that the dead twin had an inadequate share of the placental surface and a velamentous cord connection and thus was at imminent risk of death.
The case for the defense was that neither these preventive measures nor an intervention by cesarean section would have made any difference, because the problem was a cord accident -- Michael's velamentous cord insertion -- that was no one's fault and that killed Michael, leading to catastrophic consequences for his twin. The defense thus differed with the plaintiff on actual causation, asserting that nothing could have been done to prevent this outcome, even if some of the preventive measures urged by the plaintiff had been taken.
The case against Humes had been settled for $1.3 million before the mediation with Norwalk Hospital. The case against Humes was not as strong as the case against the hospital, because Humes had become involved only at the time of Donna Sabia's labor. The plaintiffs sought a "unified" theory, making both Humes an
When Donna Sabia went to the hospital in 1984 to give birth, she and husband Tony had no idea of the confusion, grief, and anger the next decade would bring. Michael, the earlier of their twins, was stillborn, and Tony Jr. was mentally and physically retarded. For three years, the Sabias struggled with the boy's problems. Then the mother of a "bad-birth" baby urged Donna to pursue legal compensation for having suffered similarly. Journalist Werth, seeking a medical malpractice case that would allow him to explore the struggle between doctors and lawyers, saw a good possibility in the Sabias' experience. His persistent investigation, well-organized writing, and dramatic but not soap-operatic narrative style bring all elements of their story to life. He shows how relations among patients, physicians, hospitals, lawyers, and insurers gradually shifted and what major roles psychology and fear rather than justice and logic played. Well paced, gripping, believable, Damages is a first-rate account of a basically irrational process. William Beatty
From Kirkus Reviews
A richly detailed account of a medical malpractice suit that reveals how human-energy-intensive, expensive, and inefficient the medical liability system can be. Werth, a business and science writer (The Billion-Dollar Molecule, 1994), has written an up-close and personal narrative involving the lives of a large, ever-changing cast of characters. He met the Sabias, a working-class couple and their profoundly brain-damaged and physically handicapped son, Tony, through their lawyer, Michael Koskoff, a prominent Connecticut medical malpractice attorney. Tony had an extremely difficult birth and his twin brother was stillborn. Using in-depth interviews, medical records, court documents, and deposition transcripts, Werth has reconstructed dramatic scenes spanning the years from 1983, when the Sabias had their first date (she invited him to pull off I-95 for coffee after hearing him on her CB radio), to 1996, three years after the settlement of their lawsuit against Norwalk Hospital. Besides creating a vivid picture of the Sabias, Werth takes the reader inside the minds of the lawyers at Koskoff's firm, and even into the heart of Dr. Maryellen Humes, who delivered Tony. (Humes's battle with her medical malpractice insurance carrier is a story unto itself.) There are no real villains here, just a host of individuals in an imperfect system trying to protect their own interests. While the Sabias' marriage nearly founders, for six and a half years lawyers on both sides prepare for the trial that no one wants. Medical experts are consulted and depositions are taken, not to discover the truth about what happened to Tony but to construct a persuasive theory. After prolonged maneuvering and delayed trial dates, both sides at last agree to try mediation, a process that soon leads to resolution of the case. Never resolved is just how Tony's brain was damaged, but at least the Sabias received money to care for their helpless son. A gripping, page-turning story, and a revealing and troubling look at our medical liability system. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
Journal of the American Medical Association
"Fascinating and detailed... Damages makes excellent reading...a great book and not just for doctors and lawyers. Anyone who enjoyed Jonathan Harr's A Civil Action will enjoy Damages." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"In the same league as Jonathan Harr's masterpiece, Civil Action." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"Richly detailed...a gripping, page-turning story...revealing and troubling." --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
When Donna Sabia went into labor on April 1, 1984, she was expecting healthy twins. Instead, one baby was stillborn-and the other just barely clung to life. Caring for their son would exhaust the Sabias emotionally, financially, and physically, and put a nearly lethal strain on their marriage-but after deciding that a lawsuit might bring them some relief, they discovered that what it brought was a seven-year-long maelstrom of conflict, stress, and further expense. This examination of the Sabia family's story brings us not only into their lives but into the lives of the doctors, lawyers, insurance carriers, and countless other players in this heartrending tale of human sorrow which is also, in the words of The San Francisco Chronicle, "a disturbing biopsy of a system in serious need of an overhaul."
Here is the book that A Civil Action fans have been waiting for.
--Praised for its "meticulous detail" (San Diego Union Tribune), Damages is already being used in law-school courses
--A timely, serious, evenhanded book that gives a human face to the health-care crisis
--Takes readers behind the scenes of both the legal and medical professions --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
"Damages" is a riveting true story of one negligence suit, pitting doctors against lawyers in the medical malpractice case of a profoundly handicapped child--and exposing the pain and courage of a family swept up in both. A fascinating exploration of what happens when the legal and medical worlds collide National author publicity. .
Nursing Home Nightmares: America's Disgrace a True Story of Abuse, Neglect and Corporate Greed
Greatest Book I've Ever Read, March 18, 2002
Reviewer: James from Virginia This book should be given to every person before they put someone they love in a nursing home.
Prosecute and Jail these people who are killing our elderly, March 12, 2002
Reviewer: Ruth from Tampa, Florida It's time that these nursing home people that are carrying out such heinous acts of neglect be arrested and jailed. Five stars for this author.
This book may save your loved one from nursing home abuse!, March 12, 2002
Reviewer: William from Dallas, TX My mother was abused in a nursing home. She was literally neglected until she died. Thank God someone has finally published a book that tells the horrors going on in today's nursing homes! Had we had Dr. Mollette's book our mother's life might have been saved!
Breaking the Code of Silence : Nursing Home Abuse
This is a true story of the authors thirteen year employment as a geriatric nurse, a career which ended when he refused to remain silent about patient abuse. This story follows his experience with nursing home abuse, the administration's attempt to cover up abuse, and the federal trial that followed his termination as a "whistleblower."
About the Author
I was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. I am the youngest of nine children. I worked ten years for our local ambulance service then attended nursing school and became a licensed practical nurse in 1983. I then spent the next thirteen years working as a geriatric nurse, until 1995. I now work as a clinical nurse in Tennessee.
The Medical Malpractice Handbook -- by Bruce Livingston
Designed to assist practicing attorneys in all phases of a medical malpractice case, this practical handbook contains crucial information and strategies for handling a medical malpractice case in such areas as the investigation of the suit, defenses, discovery, use of expert witnesses, settlement discussions, and trial strategies. The study also addresses issues such as the costs of litigation and the role of mediation. Illustrated with case law and citations from different states, this new handbook constitutes a complete guide to medical malpractice that will be of assistance both to lawyers involved in malpractice cases and lay people seeking more information on existing cases and litigations.
About the Author
Bruce Livingston is a physician and attorney-at-law. Stephen Morewitz is an independent litigation consultant.
Winning in Small Claims Courts in Texas
Filing a small claims case allows you to have the court determine your legal rights in cases of up to $3,000. Designed to be more simple and "do-it-yourself' than typical court cases, small claims court can still be very complicated unless you know the process and language of the courts. How to Win in Small Claims Court in Texas simplifies and thoroughly explains everything you need to know to successfully handle your own small claims case, whether you are the plaintiff or defendant. Complete with court terminology, step-by-step instructions and the forms you need, this book makes filing or defending suits in small claims court inexpensive and hassle-free. This book explains in simple language: Whether you have a valid case How to file your case Arguing your case Defending your case Settling your case Countersuing Rules of evidence Using expert witnesses Following rules of evidence Collecting your judgment Garnishing wages
About the Author
William R. Brown received his B.S. from the U.S. Military Academy and served as an officer in the United States Army for five years. He received his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He has practiced law in Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas, for fifteen years. He is currently in private law practice in Arlington. Mark Warda received his B.A. from the University of Illinois in Chicago and his J.D. from the University of Illinois in Champaign.
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