Sunday, September 30, 2012

"I C Ur Injured--" Law Firms Texting Ohio Auto Accident Victims

Anyone not living on an island knows that texting has become the new craze amongst the younger generation. Even we "older folk" are getting in on the act. Now, certain law firms have taken texting to new lows and are now texting Ohio auto accident victims with a number to call, presumably to them or a "help center" that eventually directs them back guessed it...a law firm.

How do they accomplish this? By hiring "runners" to obtain motor vehicle accident reports, which often contain the victims' phone numbers.  In my opinion, this conduct is unethical and in direct violation of Ohio's Rules Of Professional Conduct. Rule 7.3 directly prohibits any lawyer from soliciting professional employment "by in person, telephone, or real time electronic contact."

Here's a good question for Ohio auto accident victims to ask themselves: why would you consider hiring any attorney or firm that is unethically and illegally soliciting you as a client from the get go? Moreover, what is their motivation for bombarding you days after an accident or a tragedy with countless texts (not to mention illegal phone calls, and legal but tasteless mass mailings, brochures, DVD's, and other junk?)

If you want to sign up with anyone who pursues you like a mad dog in a meat market, that's your choice. But you should know that some of these practices are violating our ethical rules. And that should tell you all you need to know.

I would suggest a response text such as: "thx but no thx." But the best one of all, and the one that will guarantee you won't be harassed any further by them, would be: "I red rule 7.3. C U later."

Friday, September 28, 2012

DiVinci Robotic Surgery Update

Recently I wrote about some of the hazards and risks associated with the next new shiny object in the surgical world: the DiVinci Robot. Hospitals have forked out millions for these robotic surgery machines, and when this happens, you can expect marketing to follow--in the form of newspaper ads, billboards, and fancy commercials touting the wonders of the robot--as I wrote about here.

Recently, lawsuits in Alabama and Michigan were filed alleging that the DiVinci's imroperl/defective design has harmed patients during surgery. The lawsuits allege that allege that "faulty insulation, stray electrosurgical current and insufficient user training led directly to patients' injuries or deaths." In one case, a patient sustained injuries to her ureter and bladder during a hysterectomy. In another hysterectomy case, a woman died after the robot's current injured an artery and her intestine.

What does this mean for patients who are presented with robotic surgery as an option? It means you should have some serious questions and concerns about it.