Articles Posted in Brain Injuries

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Bottled formulas are a common replacement for breastfeeding.

(February 27, 2023) Enfamil recalled nearly 145,000 cans of plant-based baby formula on Sunday, February 19, 2023, due to potential contamination. The parent company, Reckitt, said in a statement that the recall was out of an “abundance of caution” and that all of the distributed products tested negative but that the recalled cans may have been contaminated with Cronobacter sakazakii. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Enfamil has had potentially life-threatening products on the shelves.

Enfamil and Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC)

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pexels-joshua-santos-9083235-150x150In many situations, those who suffer injuries at a public location because of another’s negligence may claim recovery under Texas’ premises liability laws. However, like most tort laws, premises liability is rife with exceptions and immunity clauses. The exceptions largely hinge on the classification of the property or business owner and the injury victim. As such, these cases tend to be complex and require an extensive understanding of Texas negligence laws.

Premises liability cases stemming from sporting events, such as baseball games, prove challenging for many accident victims. While many spectators bring a baseball glove in the hopes of catching a foul ball, many do not realize the dangers of a foul ball. However, the Major League Ball (MLB) assumes that spectators understand the potential risk of being struck by a foul ball.

In many situations, spectators can catch a foul ball or avoid serious injuries; however, the force of a foul ball slamming into an unsuspecting fan’s head can have a devastating impact. Spectators can suffer traumatic brain injuries, bruising, broken facial bones, skull fractures, and similar injuries. A foul ball could even kill a spectator. For example, the parents of a young child who was hit by a foul ball at a Houston Astros game finally settled with the team.

Published on:’ year-round warm climate combined with vast open spaces make the state home to an array of theme parks, amusement parks, and outdoor recreational parks. While these locations are a great place for couples and families to spend a day together, they also pose many risks to park-goers and employees. While serious injuries at a Texas amusement park are uncommon, they occur and can result in lifelong consequences.

For example, The New York Times recently reported on chemical exposure at a Texas amusement park. In late July, 26 people suffered exposure to bleach and sulfuric acid at a Six Flags amusement park. Park officials became aware of the incident when nearly 60 people began experiencing burning and breathing problems while in the shallow end of a children’s pool. Authorities evacuated the park and had the affected individuals wash their eyes under the fire truck’s hose. However, nearly half of the individuals were taken to the hospital, and one person remains in critical condition.

The children’s pool should maintain a pH balance of 7. However, testing revealed that the pool contained a combination of 35 percent sulfuric acid and approximately 12 percent bleach. While investigators do not believe the contamination was intentional, they are unsure how the event occurred. The chemicals found in the pool are the typical chemicals that the park uses every day to clean and sanitize the pool. However, they are investigating the system that injects the chemicals to determine whether the system malfunctioned. Safety logs indicated that safety officials inspected the park about three weeks before the incident. A County Judge closed down the park until the investigation is complete. Further, the Judge indicated that the park should have been recording the pH balance levels; however, they have yet to discover whether that log exists.

Published on: 9, 2021:  KILGORE, Texas (KETK) – An East Texas toddler who was fighting for his life after a swimming accident at a Kilgore Texas hotel has died.
Luke Wayne Killough, age 2, died Friday, April 30 due to brain trauma.  Luke was about to go swimming with his 4-year-old sister on Sunday, April 25 at the Kilgore Holiday Inn and Suites when he fell into the hot tub. His sister tried to save him but was unable to do so.  She ran to her father, Scott Killough, who was nearby caring for his baby to tell him. Luke’s mother Dominique Killough said that the child told her father that her “boogie”, a nickname for her brother, was floating face-down in the hot tub.
According to the mother, Scott raced over, pulled Luke from the water and helped Luke throw up food that had become stuck in his throat.
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pexels-alexas-fotos-2156246-300x196When a plaintiff brings a Texas personal injury case following a motorcycle accident, various types of evidence are often discussed during the case. Plaintiffs will face all kinds of questions designed to reduce a defendant’s liability. Was either of the parties under the influence of any kind of substance? Did the weather cause slippery or dangerous conditions? Was the victim taking all the necessary safety precautions and wearing a helmet?

In a landmark Texas Supreme Court opinion, the court overturned 40 years of precedent and reversed rules that previously precluded evidence involving a plaintiff’s failure to wear a seat belt. Previously, the court had held that such evidence was inadmissible because it would reduce a claimant’s ability to recover for the injuries they sustained in an accident based on actions that did not contribute to the accident. However, in a change of heart, the court decided that evidence of use or non-use of seat belts would now be admissible for the purpose of apportioning liability in such claims.

Upon further analysis, the Texas Supreme Court’s opinion does not simply or only extend to seat belts. It held that relevant evidence of use or non-use of seat belts, and relevant evidence of the claimant’s pre-occurrence, injury-causing conduct is admissible. Because of the broad nature of pre-occurrence, injury-causing conduct, attorneys may now have the opportunity to submit evidence that motorcycle accident victims suing for damages in civil lawsuits were not taking full safety precautions by choosing not to wear a helmet.

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Each year Spring Break revelers and vacationing hotel guests wind up in the Emergency Room for preventable reasons.  The lawyers at Carabin Shaw, specialize in Swimming Pool Safety and Traumatic Brain Injury cases, here are suggestions for a Safer Spring Break.

  1. Don’t drink and dive. Nearly 70% of water-related deaths among teens and adults involve alcohol, especially diving injuries. It’s better to save the alcoholic beverages until after the pool, beach and water activities are over because alcohol affects your judgment and coordination. 
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Photo Credit: KTRK

(HOUSTON, January 27, 2020)  Two people were killed in a gas explosion in northwest Houston at a manufacturing warehouse on Friday the 25 at around 4:30 a.m. After the explosion the Houston Fire Department reported that 48 people had to be sheltered and 18 people were sent to local emergency rooms for injuries.

Officials have identified Gerardo Castorena Sr. and Frank Flores as the two victims who were killed in this fatal explosion.

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In the recent case West Star Transportation Inc. v. Robison, a Texas appellate court considered a personal injury case in which the defendant appealed a judgment for the plaintiffs for damages totaling more than $5 million. The plaintiff had suffered a traumatic head injury after falling headfirst from a flatbed trailer that he was trying to cover in the shipping yard of the defendant, a company that was his employer. The defendant was a nonsubscriber under the Texas Workers’ Compensation Act.

The load was an uneven load that included crates of different heights, and it was 13 feet off the ground at its highest point. The defendant didn’t own the equipment needed to complete the task. A tarpaulin that weighed 150 pounds had to be placed at the highest point using a forklift. The plaintiff was also lifted to that point. The reason for the fall was unclear, but he fell while he was standing on the surface of a load, and because of the fall he suffered a traumatic brain injury.

The plaintiff and his wife sued, alleging that the defendant was negligent for failing to give the plaintiff a reasonably safe workplace. The plaintiffs offered to settle their claims to the limits of the defendant’s insurance policy via letters. The defendant tried to accept the settlement offer orally and via letter after the deadline passed. The plaintiffs believed the deadline had passed and rejected the offer in the letter. The defendant filed an amended answer and counterclaim, alleging that the case was settled.

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According to the October 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, falls and car accidents are responsible for most cases of minor traumatic brain injuries (“mTBI”). Notably, however, another leading cause of traumatic brain injuries (both minor and severe) is sports and recreational activities. In fact, although infrequent, the leading cause of death from sports-related injuries is traumatic brain injury (“TBI”). Furthermore, sports-and recreational activities contribute to approximately 21% of all TBIs among children and teens.

A traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) is defined as a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal of function of the brain. While mTBIs may result in a concussion without loss of consciousness, more severe traumatic brain injuries can result in extended period unconsciousness, coma, and death. Unfortunately, throughout the beginning of the 21st century, the incidents of TBIs in minors have continued to increase.
According to a report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), from 2001 to 2009, the number of sports and recreation-related emergency room visits for TBI among persons aged 19 and younger increased 62%. In addition, the CDC reports that each year U.S. emergency departments treat an estimated 173,285 sports and recreation related TBIs. Additionally, more recently, a study from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital published on September 30, 2013, showed a 92% increase in pediatric visits to their hospital’s emergency rooms for sports-related traumatic brain injury from 2002 to 2011.

Overall, the activities associated with the most TBI-related emergency room visits include bicycling, football, playground activities, basketball and soccer.
As a result of the increase of TBIs amongst adolescents participating in sports and recreation, many states, schools, and sports leagues and organizations have created policies or action plans on concussions in youth and high school sports. In Texas, for instance, in 2011, the State legislature passed HB 2038 relating to the treatment, prevention, and oversight of concussions affecting public school students participating in interscholastic athletics. The law requires the following:

• The governing body of each school district and open-enrollment charter school with students enrolled who participate in sports appoint or approve a concussion oversight team;
• Parents or guardians of student athletes must sign a form that acknowledges receiving and reading written information that explains among other things, concussion prevention, symptoms, treatment, and guidelines for safely resuming participation in an athletic activity following a concussion; and
• Student athletes are to removed from practice or competition immediately if they are believed to have sustained a concussion during practice or competition, and the student may not be permitted to return until evaluated by a physician.

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The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) marked Brain Injury Awareness Month this March. The purpose of Brain Injury Awareness Month is to promote early and equal access to care for all individuals suffering from a brain injury and promote brain injury awareness across the United States. It is important to remember that a brain injury can occur anytime, anywhere, and can happen to anyone.

The BIAA defines a traumatic brain injury (TBI) as a “blow, jolt or bump to the head or a penetrating head injury that disrupts the normal function of the brain.” TBIs frequently require expert trauma care, specialized rehabilitation and lifelong disease management.

Statistics and Facts about Brain Injuries

According to the BIAA, approximately 1.7 million Americans sustain a brain injury each year. In fact, TBI is the leading cause of death and disability among children and young adults, and it is the fourth leading cause of death overall. Indeed, in Texas alone, more than 144,000 Texans sustain a TBI each year. In addition, excluding veterans and military service members, more than 5,700 Texans are permanently disabled every year from a TBI, and approximately 440,000 Texans (2% of the state population) live with a disability caused by a TBI. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) estimates that TBI rates are higher for males than females in every single age group, and children aged 0 to 4, young adults aged 15 to 19, and adults aged 65 years and older sustain more TBIs than other age groups.

Unfortunately, per the Texas Brain Injury Alliance, less than 1 in 20 people with a TBI will receive the rehabilitation they need. At the same time, high incidences of TBIs can be costly for individuals, their families, and the nation as a whole. Specifically, direct medical costs and indirect costs such as lost productivity of TBI totaled an estimated $76.5 billion in the United States in 2000.

While falls are the leading cause of a TBI for individuals 65 and older, transportation-related injuries are the leading cause of traumatic brain injuries among those individuals younger than 64. Notably, more than 50% of all motor vehicle accidents resulting in traumatic brain injuries involve alcohol. It is also worth noting here that these numbers do not take into account the incidence of certain types of brain injuries, such as stroke, infectious disease, aneurysms, seizures, and toxic exposure.

Preventing Traumatic Brain Injuries for High Risk Groups

Each year, one out of three adults ages 65 and over falls. These falls can lead to moderate to severe head trauma. To reduce the chance of falling and suffering a TBI, the CDC recommends that older adults:

• Exercise regularly;
• Ask their doctors to review all of their medicine (both prescription and over-the- counter) to identify medicine that may cause drowsiness and/or dizziness;
• Have their eyes checked at least once a year; and
• Make their homes safer by reducing tripping hazards, adding railings, and increasing light.

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