Feds take South Carolina charter bus company out of commission

According to reports, a South Carolina tour bus operator has been ordered to halt operations after federal regulators determined that it posed safety hazards to the public. There have been many instances of serious and fatal tour bus accidents around the country in recent years, which is why the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has heightened its surveillance of the industry.

On Monday, the FMCSA issued an order stating that Destiny Tours, of Lake City, South Carolina, and its owner pose an imminent safety hazard after an investigation was launched last month. The charter bus company mainly operates in the southeastern United States.

According to the FMCSA, the bus company submitted an inspection document that had been falsified and failed to conduct regular inspections and repair on the one motor coach it has in its fleet as required by federal safety regulations. More specifically, there was no evidence that the motor coach’s emergency exits have ever been adequately tested. The FMCSA also said the company has been operating despite a federal cease operations order that was issued in November 2010.

Destiny Tours is also accused of failing to monitor its drivers. First, the company is accused of not requiring its drivers to turn in driving logs that keep track of how much each driver is on the road. The FMCSA also found that the company failed to make sure that its drivers complied with regulations concerning controlled substances and alcohol use and testing. Apparently, drivers had been hired before passing drug and alcohol tests, which are required by federal law.

As part of the crackdown on the motor carrier industry, “Operation Quick Strike” was launched this year. The program involves 50 specially-trained safety investigators who target high-risk passenger carriers. In 2013, a total of 18 companies have received out-of-service orders. The hope is that getting these carriers off of the roads with prevent additional tour bus accidents from occurring and need Michigan injury attorneys to step in.

Database tracks mistakes, patient feedback at local hospitals

If effort to improve patient care and awareness, the federal government launched an online database to track patient feedback and medical malpractice or mistakes at local hospitals throughout the country. The list can be found on the website for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

“We asked hospitals to report this information for two reasons: one, to focus on measurement and improvement, and two, so patients and consumers would have the information available,” an official with DHHS.

The database included some interesting admissions from hospitals in the South Carolina area. For example, the databases showed that at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, there was a rate four times higher than the national average for objects being left behind in patients’ bodies after surgery. The national rate was about 1 instance per about every 10,000 patients.

Before you go in for surgery or treatment, it may be a good idea to check out the database to see how your hospital ranks. If you are concerned by what you find, you could always reschedule your procedure at another health care facility.

Hopefully this online database will provide more transparency within the health care industry. It could also inspire hospitals to institute programs to eliminate medical negligence and encourage better treatment of patients.

Currently, there are far too many people injured or killed each year as a result of medical negligence, and that’s one of the reasons the database was created.

If you or someone you love was injured or killed due to medical malpractice, know that you may be entitled to compensation from the doctors or hospital involved if you work with an auto accident lawyer near you.

Court: Parents can join wrongful death suit against beer baron

In December 2010, a 27-year-old former model died of a drug overdose at the mansion of August Busch IV, heir to the Anheuser-Busch beer brewing throne. Following the death, a lawsuit was filed against Busch on behalf of the woman’s 9-year-old son, and the woman’s parents sought to join the suit as well.

Laws vary from state to state with regard to who can file wrongful death lawsuits after losing a loved one in an accident or crime. However, in all states, close family members like spouses, children and parents can pursue lawsuits against the person or entity responsible for the death.

In this case, Busch had asked the state Supreme Court to bar the woman’s parents from being included as plaintiffs in the lawsuit and proposed a $1.5 million settlement with the woman’s ex-husband on behalf of their son. However, the court ruled that the parents should be included in the lawsuit and settlement negotiations.

According to reports, the woman was found dead in a bedroom at Busch’s mansion on December 19, 2010. An autopsy determined her cause of death to be an accidental overdose of the painkiller oxycodone, but a high level of cocaine was also found in her system.

There were no criminal charges filed against Busch following an investigation. Busch attempted to settle the wrongful death lawsuit from their personal injury law firm with the woman’s ex-husband on behalf of their son last year, but now the woman’s parents must also be included. If the parties cannot reach an agreement, the case will be heard in court and Busch could be deposed, or forced to answer questions about the incident under oath.

Database tracks mistakes, patient feedback at local hospitals

If effort to improve patient care and awareness, the federal government launched an online database to track patient feedback and medical malpractice or mistakes at local hospitals throughout the country. The list can be found on the website for the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

“We asked hospitals to report this information for two reasons: one, to focus on measurement and improvement, and two, so patients and consumers would have the information available,” an official with DHHS.

The database included some interesting admissions from hospitals in the South Carolina area. For example, the databases showed that at Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill, there was a rate four times higher than the national average for objects being left behind in patients’ bodies after surgery. The national rate was about 1 instance per about every 10,000 patients.

Before you go in for surgery or treatment, it may be a good idea to check out the database to see how your hospital ranks. If you are concerned by what you find, you could always reschedule your procedure at another health care facility.

Hopefully this online database will provide more transparency within the health care industry. It could also inspire hospitals to institute programs to eliminate medical negligence and encourage better treatment of patients.

Currently, there are far too many people injured or killed each year as a result of medical negligence, and that’s one of the reasons the database was created.

If you or someone you love was injured or killed due to medical malpractice, know that you may be entitled to compensation from the doctors or hospital involved by retaining the best personal injury attorneys.