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March 2019

Latest Data Breach: FEMA Announces that over 2 Million Disaster Survivors Information Exposed

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), who had helped provide shelter for millions of survivors of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria as well as the California wildfires, has failed to protect the personal and confidential information of these disaster survivors. Information exposed includes street addresses and banking information.

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Medical-Device and Software Maker ZOLL Medical Announces Data Breach

ZOLL Medical reported Monday that the personal information of over 275,000 patients were exposed during a recent server migration, the medical device maker said.

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Charlotte E. Ray, Esquire: America’s First Black, Female Lawyer

In recognition of Women’s History Month 2019, and in recognition that last February was celebrated as Black History Month I have chosen to highlight the life and career of a legal trailblazer who, outside of limited circles is virtually unknown to most Americans.  Charlotte E. Ray was America’s first black female lawyer. She was also the first woman to be admitted to practice before the to the District of Columbia Bar, and the first woman admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia.  Attorney Ray’s admission to practice was seen for the precedent it was, as women who came after her used her example in seeking admission to practice as attorneys.

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What You Don't Know Could (Seriously) Hurt You: 4 Things to Keep in Mind When Picking a Nursing Home

On March 6, The US Senate Committee on Finance held hearings in Washington on Elder and Nursing Home abuse and neglect. We all know that the Federal government is tied up with partisan politics in almost all respects. But this Committee heard gut-wrenching and horrific testimony from the adult children of elder victims, true episodes of neglect resulting in bed sores, falls, infections, sexual assault and death. Yes, you read that correctly: sexual assault, rape,  of an 87-year-old victim in a nursing home. There was testimony from experts in the field, leaders in health care, all deploring the fact that fully one third of nursing home residents experienced harm in a 2014 study; and that 2 years ago, the US Inspector General warned the public of problems at nursing homes in 33 states, listing sexual abuse, substandard care and neglect as prime categories of mistreatment. The work of this committee is critical, as almost all nursing home residents are beneficiaries of Medicare and or Medicaid and these facilities depend on those agencies to get paid. We all understand that nursing homes exist to protect and shelter our most fragile and vulnerable loved ones as they seek to live their lives with dignity and respect on "the back end of life". How we treat our elders is certainly a fair measure of who and what we are as a society. If you or your family are faced with the heartbreak of a tough decision as to where to place Mom or Dad, keep in mind some important points for you to think about and watch for in your search:

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Pennsylvania Adopts New Rule For Civil Procedure To Address “Doe” Defendants

Effective April 1, 2019, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has adopted new Rule 2005, which codifies the initiation of suit against “John Doe” defendants. This new rule lays out the proper procedure that Plaintiffs can use to initiate a suit against unknown defendants, commonly referred to as “John Doe” defendants.

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Can We Prevent More Suicides?

The incidence of suicide is on the rise, and some have even termed it a public health crisis.  On March 5 the Food and Drug Administration approved a new nasal spray medication for treatment resistant depression.  The nasal spray, Spravato (esketamine) is a form of the well-known and widely used anesthetic ketamine. Ketamine was found to be an effective antidepressant in the 1990’s when researchers at Yale discovered these effects.  These findings were confirmed by researchers who published their finding in the Journal of American Medical Association in 2006.

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I Do It For Her

Although practicing law is often highly rewarding (e.g., helping a client obtain a favorable verdict or settlement and possibly affecting a positive change in the law), it can also be extremely frustrating.  And exhausting.

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Proposed Rule May Help Victims of Medical Negligence

“A Pennsylvania Supreme Court proposal that would allow medical malpractice lawsuits to be filed in Pennsylvania counties other than where the harm allegedly occurred has doctors warning of the potential for treatment delays and backlogged courts in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia.

Since 2003, medical malpractice lawsuits have only been allowed to be filed in the counties where the claim arose.” - Post Gazette

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