Attorney at Law since 1986

Florida Circuit Civil Mediator & Qualified Arbitrator

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  • Up until March 13th of 2014, Florida had a cap on the damages the survivors in a wrongful death case could recover when the wrongful death was caused by medical negligence (medical malpractice). The caps had been passed by the Florida legislature in 1900 after a long Tort Reform campaign led by insurance companies, special interests and the medical establishment. Vigorous campaigns were waged in the media where medical malpractice cases were scorned as raising insurance rates through frivolous lawsuits. Doctors, it was said, would leave the state. Against this backdrop the Florida lawmakers adopted Tort Reform which narrowly restricted the damages that could be recovered when medical malpractice killed a patient. The damages for non-economic losses were capped at $500,000. per claimant. The Florida Supreme Court has held that the statutory cap on wrongful death medical malpractice noneconomic damages is unconstitutional and violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution. In reaching its decision, the Court also debunked the rhetoric and false claims made by the proponents of Tort Reform.  Noneconomic damages are commonly referred to as mental pain and suffering damages and mental anguish damages. These are the damages that the surviving wife, for example, suffers because […]

  • The Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to manufacturers of a specialized medical scope that has been associated with outbreaks of a deadly “superbug,” saying the companies failed to adequately report problems with the devices and, in some instances, failed to ensure that they could be cleaned properly between uses. The warnings come after the devices, known as duodenoscopes, have been linked in recent years to outbreaks of tough-to-fight bacterial infections involving carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, or CRE. Widening superbug outbreak raises questions for FDA, manufacturers A recent outbreak involving contaminated scopes at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles left at least two people dead, and officials said scores of other patients potentially were exposed to the dangerous bacteria. At Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, also in Los Angeles, officials this year said four patients had been infected by a superbug after undergoing a duodenoscope procedure. A Connecticut hospital said it had contacted nearly 300 patients who might have been exposed to a dangerous type of drug-resistant E. coli after undergoing duodenoscope procedures. Such incidents prompted the FDA in February to alert doctors and hospitals that duodenoscopes can be difficult to sanitize between uses and “may facilitate the spread of […]

  • Jay Cooper, Florida Board Certified Civil Trial Specialist, is proud to associate as of counsel with Joseph Viacava , Esquire and his law firm. Mr. Viacava is one of southwest Florida’s pre- eminent criminal defense lawyers and he goes to trial in both State and Federal Courts. Mr. Viacava recently renovated the office building located at 2036 McGregor Blvd., Ft. Myers, Fl. 33901. The two attorneys now provide legal counsel and representation for clients with civil matters or criminal cases. The new location is a state -of -the art law firm with the resources to provide personal service to clients. Mr. Viacava maintains his own practice and he and Mr. Cooper have co-counseled numerous civil cases in the past. Visit Joe Viacava’s website at JoeViacavaLaw.com. Check back here for more information as it makes the site. Trial lawyers hang with trial lawyers. Contact Jay Cooper today with questions about your personal injury or wrongful death matters.

  • Here is a provocative article from the Washington Post that highlights the problems that occur when nursing homes fail to monitor the residents’ blood thinners. When Loren Peters arrived in the emergency room in October 2013, bruises covered his frail body and blood oozed from his gums. The 85-year-old had not been in a fight or fallen down. Instead, he had been given too much of a popular, decades-old blood thinner that, unmonitored, can turn from a lifesaver into a killer. Lorna Finch lost her father, Loren Peters, right, when staff at his nursing home did not oversee his Coumadin correctly, regulators found. Her mother, Arleta Peters, left, died three weeks afterward. (Danny Wilcox Frazier/For the Washington Post). “My goodness, I’ve never seen anything like it,” recalled Lorna Finch, Peters’s daughter, of the ugly purple bruise that sprawled from the middle of her father’s stomach to his hip. “It was just awful.” Peters took Coumadin at his Marshalltown, Iowa, nursing home because he had an abnormal heart rhythm, which increases the risk of stroke. It’s a common precaution, but the drug must be carefully calibrated: too much, and you can bleed uncontrollably; too little, and you can develop life-threatening clots. […]

  • ONLY in Albany can a bill pass the Assembly with overwhelming bipartisan support, be sponsored by a majority of the State Senate, be endorsed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, and yet never come up for a final vote. That happened to Lavern’s Law, a bill that would have helped grievously injured victims of medical malpractice have their day in court. This summer, the Senate majority leader, John J. Flanagan, a Republican, wouldn’t allow the bill to be voted on, effectively killing it. The bill is named after Lavern Wilkinson, a Brooklyn woman whose curable form of lung cancer went untreated when doctors at Kings County Hospital failed to alert her to a suspicious mass noted on an X-ray taken three years earlier. Ms. Wilkinson died, and her daughter was barred from bringing a lawsuit against the negligent hospital because in New York a victim has only two and a half years from the time of the medical mistake in which to bring an action, not from the time the error was discovered or should have been discovered. The latter standard is the law in 44 states, and Lavern’s Law would have adopted the provision in New York. Hospitals are dangerous […]