November 4, 2011, 11:15 AM ET
by Ashby Jones
The amount of settlement counts:
"In recent days, reports of sexual-harassment lawsuits have dogged the until-now surprisingly successful Herman Cain presidential campaign. And Cain’s people have conceded that they haven’t handled the flare-up with great aplomb.
But let’s pause for a moment to take a look at the law surrounding sex-harassment. As Brent Kendall and I wrote in this WSJ story, people often have many different behaviors in mind when they talk about sexual harassment, and a brief primer on the topic might help clear up a few things.
For starters, in the legal arena, making a successful sex-harassment case often hinges on whether the conduct is pervasive or serious enough to disrupt an employee’s work . . . " Read More
Article Date: 08 Jul 2011 - 1:00 PDT
"Creating a baseline for each youth athlete is a critical part of accurate future concussion assessment, according to researchers presenting their study at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego. Differences in how females and males scored on a standardized concussion assessment tool were also investigated.
"Our research analyzed whether the new Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-2 (SCAT2) has any variability in data for youth athletes and whether gender makes a difference on the scores," said presenting researcher, Anikar Chhabra, MD, MS of The Orthopaedic Clinic Association in Phoenix, AZ. "Our results showed that otherwise healthy adolescent athletes do display some variability in results so establishing each player's own baseline before the season starts and then comparing it to test results following a concussion leads to more accurate diagnosis and treatment."
Chhabra and his colleagues from A.T. Still University tested 1,134 athletes who were participating on interscholastic athletic teams at 15 different high schools in the Phoenix area, as part of a funded research project by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). There were 872 males and 262 females in the study with an average age of 15. The predominant male and female sports were football and volleyball, accordingly. A brief questionnaire regarding concussion history and the SCAT2 test was given to all participants.
Females scored significantly higher on the SCAT2 total score compared to the males. Athletes with a prior history of concussion also scored significantly lower on the SCAT2.
"This data provides the first insight into how the SCAT2 scores can be used and interpreted as a sideline concussion tool and as an initial baseline analysis. With concussions accounting for approximately nine percent of all high school athletic injuries, accurately utilizing assessments like these to quickly determine an athlete's return-to-play probability is critical to long term athletic and educational performance," said Chhabra. "
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Article Date: 19 Aug 2011 - 1:00 PDT
"Recurring headaches are common during the year following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), regardless of the severity of the TBI, and they tend to occur more often among females and those with a pre-TBI history of headache, according to an article in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online at the link below.
More than 70% of patients who had suffered a TBI reported having headaches during the first year after their injury. This finding is a result of a multi-center study described by Jeanne Hoffman, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, and a group of colleagues from University of Washington, Craig Hospital (Denver, CO), Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (Dallas), Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), and Moss Rehab (Philadelphia, PA).
Females and persons with a pre-injury history of headache were significantly more likely to report headache, but there was no statistical link between incidence of post-injury headache and the severity of the TBI."
Sources: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, AlphaGalileo Foundation.
Article Date: 31 Jul 2011 - 0:00 PDT
If you suffer traumatic brain injury, your risk of having a stroke within three months may increase tenfold, according to a new study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
"It's reasonable to assume that cerebrovascular damage in the head caused by a traumatic brain injury can trigger either a hemorrhagic stroke [when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain] or an ischemic stroke [when an artery in the brain is blocked]," said Herng-Ching Lin, Ph.D., senior study author and professor at the School of Health Care Administration, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University in Taiwan. "However, until now, no research had been done showing a correlation between traumatic brain injury and stroke."
It is the first study that pinpoints traumatic brain injury as a potential risk factor for subsequent stroke.
Traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force such as a bump, blow or jolt to the head disrupts the normal function of the brain. Causes include falls, vehicle accidents, and violence.
In the United States alone, approximately 1 in 53 individuals sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, according to 2004 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Worldwide, traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of physical impairment, social disruption and death.
Using records from a nationwide Taiwanese database, researchers investigated the risk of stroke in traumatic brain injury patients during a five-year period. The records included 23,199 adult traumatic brain injury patients who received ambulatory or hospital care between 2001 and 2003. The comparison group comprised 69,597 non-traumatic brain injury patients. The average age of all patients was 42 and 54 percent were male.
During the three months after injury, 2.91 percent of traumatic brain injury patients suffered a stroke compared with only 0.30 percent of those with non-traumatic brain injury - a tenfold difference.
Stroke risk in patients with traumatic brain injury decreased gradually over time, researchers said:
Stroke risk among traumatic brain injury patients with skull bone fractures was more pronounced than in traumatic brain injury patients without fractures, researchers said.
During the first three months, those with skull bone fractures were 20 times more likely to have a stroke than patients without skull bone fractures. The risk decreased over time.
Furthermore, the risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover the brain) and intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain caused by the rupture of a blood vessel) increased significantly in patients with traumatic brain injury versus non-traumatic brain injury patients. . . " Read More
"A jury should decide whether a school bus service is liable for dropping a 13-year-old girl off at the wrong bus stop, exposing her to harm from a man who had sexually abused her, the Iowa Court of Appeals has ruled in an unusual wrongful-death case.
Donnisha Hill's tragic death has resulted in murder convictions for her abuser, David Damm, and the man he hired to kill her. With the appeals court's decision, it could also lead to a damages award for her parents against the bus company, First Student, Inc.
On Oct. 27, 2006, a First Student driver allowed Donnisha to get off the bus at an intersection near Damm's car dealership in Waterloo, Iowa, rather than take her to a stop near her house where her mother could see her. Damm picked Donnisha up and took her to meet his friend, Bruce Burt, who later beat her to death with a small sledge hammer.
A Black Hawk County judge cut short a jury trial of the wrongful-death lawsuit last year, finding that First Student did not need to protect Donnisha from “any and all possible harm” resulting from contact with Damm and her murder was not within the “range of harms risked by the defendant's conduct.”
Police were investigating the abuse allegations at the time of the murder. The identifiable risk, First Student argued, was not that Damm would have Donnisha killed, but that he would again sexually abuse her.
But the appeals court said the risk did not have to be so specific to be within First Student's “scope of liability.” “The plaintiffs presented evidence that First Student was aware Donnisha's bus route was changed for her overall safety in general, not just to prevent further sexual abuse,” it noted in sending the case back for a new trial.
“[T]he risk that made First Student negligent was the general risk that Donnisha would come in contact with and be physically harmed by Damm,” the court concluded.
Donnisha's parents found out Oct. 11, 2006 that she was having sex with Damm, a neighbor. After calling the police and keeping her out of school for two weeks, her mother asked First Student to change her bus route to one closer to home. . . " Read More
by Eric L. Probst
""New technologies create interesting challenges to long established legal concepts." Written over fourteen years ago in a court martial decision involving the electronic transmission of pornography, United States v. Maxwell, Jr., 45 M.J. 406 (C.A.A.F. 1996), this statement has never been more relevant than it is today in the social networking era of Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites ("SNS"). When Congress enacted the Stored Wire and Electronics Communications Privacy Act in 1986, 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701–2711 ("SCA"), to regulate how and under what circumstances electronic information providers could produce electronic information to third parties . . . Read More
Certified Forensics Nurse Examiner and Independent Consultant