Our Practice Areas
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
The abuse and neglect of our frail elders occurs all too often in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other long term care institutions in America.
Indications of abuse or neglect may include pressure ulcers (bed sores), falls, broken bones, malnutrition, dehydration, bruising, unexplained injuries, and infections. Many problems in the long term care arena result from short-staffing and the willingness of nursing home executives to put profits over people and revenue over residents. Frequently, facilities are deliberately understaffed in order to save money and maximize profits. Signs of short-staffing include the failure to answer call lights in a timely fashion, harried staffers who complain of too much to do, residents languishing in urine and feces for extended periods of time, dirty linens, and the noxious smell of urine or feces in the facility.
When facilities aren’t adequately staffed, residents often suffer from bedsores because they aren’t turned and repositioned often enough. Residents also frequently suffer from avoidable malnutrition or dehydration because harried staff don’t have enough time to provide assistance with eating or drinking. Sometimes, residents suffer from falls and resulting fractures because staff didn’t have the time to properly supervise them or respond to their call lights when the residents were in need of assistance to go to the bathroom.
Our lawyers have substantial experience in representing victims of nursing home abuse and neglect, along with their families. They have handled numerous nursing home cases in a variety of venues from coast to coast. In addition, they have tried many such cases to verdict before juries, including cases in Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Kentucky, Arkansas, and California.
In addition to representing victims of abuse and neglect before juries, David Marks has long been active in public policy matters on behalf of America’s frail elderly. David has testified before Congress about matters involving long-term care and also before the Texas Legislature.
David has published a number of articles about elder care. To access these articles, click here.
Vehicular accidents are often the cause of serious or catastrophic injuries. Frequently, such accidents are the result of driver or operator error, but sometimes they may be the result of the defective design or manufacture of the vehicle or one of its component parts.
Injuries in a vehicular accident may be enhanced or aggravated because of the failure of the vehicle manufacturer to make the vehicle “crashworthy” in the event of an accident. A vehicle manufacturer may be negligent in designing a dashboard which includes hard and protruding handles or knobs which aggravate the occupants’ injuries in the event of an accident, or by placing the fuel tank inside the occupant compartment, thereby increasing the likelihood that the occupants will be severely burned in the event of an accident. Railroad companies may increase the likelihood of accidents by failing to provide automatic crossing protection at intersections such as flashing lights or gates. Trucking companies may cause injury by forcing their drivers to drive an excessive number of hours or by failing to properly secure vehicle loads or by failing to properly inspect a vehicle’s brakes before the beginning of a trip.
The lawyers at Marks, Balette, Giessel, and Young have represented a number of clients in a variety of different vehicular accidents. These include automobile accidents, auto-truck collisions, auto-train collisions and aircraft crashes. In the process, we have worked with law enforcement personnel, accident reconstructionists, emergency medical personnel, doctors and nurses, engineers, life-care planners, vocational rehabilitation experts and economists to prove who or what was at fault in causing the accident and the nature and amount of the damages that our clients suffered.
Defective products are often the cause of serious or catastrophic injury to innocent parties. Sometimes the defects are the result of flaws in the design of the product and sometimes they result from problems with the way in which the product was manufactured. In some instances, a product may be unreasonably dangerous because warnings accompanying the product did not adequately disclose of the dangers associated with its use or the proper safety measures to take to avoid those dangers.
Our lawyers have handled liability claims involving a wide variety of defective products including airplanes, helicopters, trains, automobiles, trucks, tires, motorcycle helmets, firearms, paint, vaccines, electrical devices—even a line of fondue pots which caused severe burns because of defective design! Product liability claims require an understanding of the design, manufacture, testing, labeling, marketing and post marketing measures taken with respect to various products which enter the stream of commerce. The lawyers at Marks, Balette, Giessel, and Young have worked with a wide variety of experts including mechanical engineers, automotive engineers, safety engineers, electrical engineers, civil engineers, chemical engineers and labeling experts to achieve successful results for our clients.
Catastrophic injuries are injuries that result in devastating harm to the victim. They include injuries that produce brain damage, paralysis, severe burns, amputation, marked disfigurement, post-traumatic stress, severe poisoning or any other injury which has a profound and prolonged adverse impact on the victim.
Catastrophic injuries can occur for a variety of reasons including vehicular accidents, airplane crashes, defective products, medical malpractice, electrocution, or environmental pollution. These injuries produce adverse physical, mental, and emotional consequences and are life-altering for the victims and their families. Future medical care for catastrophically injured victims can cost millions of dollars.
In order to properly present a claim for catastrophic injuries to a jury, a variety of experts may need to be employed. A wide range of medical experts may need to be involved, including neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuropsychologists, orthopedists, pathologists, physiatrists and psychiatrists. In addition, highly trained personnel with specialized training in accident reconstruction, safety engineering, life-care planning, and economics may need to be employed.
Our lawyers have substantial experience in representing victims of catastrophic injuries and have worked with a wide variety of experts in presenting our client’s claims to juries around the country.
Medical malpractice occurs more frequently in the United States than most people would like to believe. The Institute of Medicine estimates that 99,000 deaths per year occur in hospitals from medical malpractice. Hundreds of thousands of additional injuries occur yearly from other medical mistakes, resulting in tremendous pain and suffering to the victims and billions of dollars in costs to American taxpayers.
Medical malpractice occurs from medication errors (wrong medication, wrong amount, wrong patient), wrong site surgery, retained objects from surgery, missed diagnoses, improper treatment, missed treatments, avoidable infections, in-house acquired pressure ulcers (bed sores), and a host of other medical mistakes. Proving that medical malpractice has occurred in a given case requires a thorough understanding on the part of the lawyer of complex medical issues and an ability to bring the expertise of the country’s finest medical experts to bear in behalf of the client’s cause. Our lawyers have reviewed thousands of medical records in the course of their practice and have worked with a number of the country’s finest medical experts in presenting their clients’ cases to juries around the United States.
Our lawyers have also been asked to lecture to lawyers and healthcare professionals alike about matters involving medical malpractice. They have addressed audiences in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Washington DC, Nashville, Lexington, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee.
In many instances, serious or catastrophic injuries result from dangerous conditions on the premises of landowners. Many times, these conditions are not apparent to the user or, in the case of children, the user may not appreciate the significance of the danger posed by the condition. Hazards on one’s land may result from a failure to warn users of the property of dangers known to the land owner, but which are not obvious to the users. In other instances, conducting inherently dangerous activities (blasting, high voltage electrical generation, etc.) on one’s land may result in injuries to innocent third parties. Often times, injuries may result from the failure of the land owner to comply with applicable building, electrical or safety codes.
Our lawyers have handled a number of premises liability cases that have resulted in successful recoveries for our clients. In the process, we worked with engineers, safety experts and investigative personnel to ensure that our client’s interests were properly protected.