Wednesday, December 14, 2011


In a major decision from the United States Supreme Court, American consumers are now denied the right to sue generic drug manufacturers for failing to warn of known dangers to human health caused by generic drugs.

In a five-four split, the five Republican Justices decided the case of Pliva, Inc. v Gladys Mensing and Julie Demahy on June 23, 2011 in favor of the drug companies. This decision relating to generic drugs affects 75% of all prescription drugs dispensed in this country as that is the percentage which are generic, as opposed to brand named drugs. In her descent, Justice Soto Mayor properly complains that this decision by the Republican majority on the U.S. Supreme Court ". . .effectively re-writes our decision in Wyeth v Levine (2009), which holds that Federal Law does not preempt failure-to-warn claims against brand-name drug manufacturers".

As a result of the Pliva decision, whether a consumer harmed by inadequate warnings can obtain relief turns solely on the happen stance of whether our pharmacists fill a prescription with a brand name or a generic drug.

As a result of this new United States Supreme Court decision extending preemption (federal powers as being superior to those of the state), residents in the other 49 states are now denied access to American Courts, as Michiganians have been denied access to the courts since Gov. Engler passed statewide legislation, later affirmed by the Republican majority in the Michigan Supreme Court. These immunities favoring pharmaceutical companies over citizens are ironically coming from the Republicans who always claim their disdain for federal power over state's rights.

Each time the clients of Charfoos & Christensen, P.C. vote to support Republican candidates, they can expect those candidates will diminish their rights to sue, and diminish their rights to hold wrongdoers responsible for cleaning up the messes they cause. Where money is concerned, corporate responsibilities go out the window and the consumers lose again. Each time we vote for elected officials, we make choices that affect the type of society we, our friends and family live in.

The EPA & chemicals in the US

The Environmental Proection Agency has tested just 200 of the 80,000 chemicals registered in the United States. The total number banned: five. ~The Washngton Post


If you want to dispose of unused medications you should follow these suggestions:

• DO NOT FLUSH unused medications and DO NOT POUR them down a sink or drain.
• When discarding unused medications in your trash:
 Pour them into a sealable plastic bag. If medication is a solid (pill, liquid capsule, etc.), ass water to dissolve it.
 Add kitty litter, sawdust, coffee grounds (or any material that mixes with the medication to make it less appealing to pets and children to eat) in a bag.
 Seal the plastic bag and put it in the trash.
 Remove all and destroy ALL personal information (prescription label) from all medication containers before recycling them or throwing them away.

For more information go to

Monday, July 18, 2011

Brain Damaged Baby



J. Douglas Peters, Ann Mandt and local counsel negotiated a 2.5 million ($2,500,000) Dollar settlement against the defendant doctor and defendant hospital in this case involving failure of labor to progress, an unsuccessful attempt at delivery using a vacuum extractor for 13 pulls, and a failure to timely deliver the fetus in the face of fetal distress. This case was not litigated in Michigan.

Mother, a 34 year-old gravida-1 at 40 weeks gestation with good clinical dating and ultrasound, presented herself to the hospital at the onset of contractions at about 5:30 p.m. There was no bleeding or rupture of the membranes. Mother's pre-natal course was uncomplicated. She was rubella negative, blood type A+ and her alphafeto-protein had been normal. An infectious disease workup was negative and the mother did not use cigarettes or alcohol during her pregnancy.

Mother was admitted to labor and delivery and watched overnight. In the early morning her contractions began occurring every 2-5 minutes, were mild in intensity and lasted 50-70 seconds. There was good beat-to-beat variability. At about 8:00 a.m., mother's membranes ruptured spontaneously with clear fluid. Her blood pressure rose to 150/90's. In the first few hours following the rupture of her membranes there was a failure of the labor to progress. The labor was augmented by IV Pitocin and over the course of the next few hours, she dilated to six (6) cm. Mother was noted to have some coupling and poor relaxation on her contraction pattern so her Pitocin was discontinued. Contractions then decreased to about one every five to six minutes lasting approximately 40-80 seconds. They were moderate to strong in intensity. Over the next hour there was no progress so the IV Pitocin was restarted at a lower level. Mother again failed to progress and an internal fetal monitoring probe was placed. At this point mild variable decelerations were noted.

Over the course of the next hour, mother progressed to 8 cm. and then fully dilated at approximately 9:30 p.m. Mother was encouraged to push but her pushing effort was noted to be poor and she had difficulty relaxing her legs.

After approximately an hour and a half of such pushing, mother having made only a small amount of progress, a telephone conversation with the obstetrician was obtained. Shortly thereafter, he arrived at the hospital and explained various options to the mother including the selected choice of a vacuum extractor. After 13 pulls of the vacuum extractor, with two to three pop-offs, the vacuum extractor did bring the head down to bring the head down to crowning. It took several more pushes after that for the mother to push the baby out.

Following the delivery, the baby had APGAR scores of 1, 3 and 3 at 1, 5 in 10 minutes after birth. During the last 20 minutes of the second stage, the fetal heart tones ranged from about 150 to 180 and decelerations appeared. Delivery was finally effectuated at approximately midnight.

Upon delivery, the baby was described as being severely depressed, color was pale blue and there was no respiratory effort and the muscle tones were flaccid. After resuscitation, including intubation, the baby was transferred to a Children's Hospital in a University Center. Neonatal seizures occurred within the first 24 hours. The records showed the baby was hypoxic and acidotic with massive subglial hematomas, all of which resulted in moderate/severe cerebral palsy.

This case was settled prior to trial with a non-disclosure agreement.

J. Douglas Peters & Ann Mandt
(313) 875-8080


Patients should pay close attention to the drugs their physicians prescribe. Ask you pharmacist to provide you with information about adverse reactions of each drug you are prescribed as well as the synergistic (combined) effects of taking various drugs together. Often, patients are prescribed one set of drugs by one physician and another set by another physician. Make sure that each of your physicians knows what other physicians have prescribed for you.

Make sure the labeling on the prescription specifically identifies the number of pills you are to take each day, as well as the time of day the pills should be taken. An important article appearing in the January 2011 issue of Vanity Fair reports that approximately 200,000 people a year die in America from prescription drugs that are considered "safe". This is three times the number of people who die each year from diabetes, four times the number who die from kidney disease and approximately five times the number of people killed each year in America from automobile accidents.

In 1996, Gov. Engler and the Republican Legislature passed a law in Michigan that gives immunity from suit to any manufacturer whose products are approved by the FDA. This includes all prescription drugs. Former democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm was unable to change this law because the republicans controlled the State Senate. Now, the republicans control the governorship and the Michigan Supreme Court, so changes in the law are unlikely. For this reason, since patients do not have adequate legal redress, and because of common sense, patients must vigorously look out for their own personal interests by scrutinizing the labels of the drugs they are prescribed as well as reading available information from pharmacists and the internet on the drugs they are prescribed.

After a dozen or so deaths linked to runaway Toyotas, Japanese executives were called to Washington to testify. When the pharmaceutical industry meets with lawmakers, it is mainly to provide campaign contributions. Caveat emptor (buyer beware).

If a pharmacist mis-fills a prescription, or if a doctor prescribes a medication that is not indicated for your clinical condition, and you sustain an injury, please feel free to call J. Douglas Peters at Charfoos & Christensen, P.C. with your questions.

5510 Woodward Ave., Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 875-8080


Although food poisoning can occur in any season, the warm temperatures of
Summer create special risks.

Food poisoning is caused when we eat food or drink that has been contaminated, most commonly by bacteria, but sometimes by viruses and chemicals.

Food poisoning can be caused by forces we can control and forces we cannot control. When shopping, check the "used-by-dates" on products to make sure you are not buying old inventory that might have started to spoil. Especially be careful of pre-ground hamburger, it has lots of surface area which may become contaminated with fecal material from slaughtered cows. If you can buy hamburger that has been freshly ground at the store from chunks of meat, as opposed to being re-ground from tubes of previously ground hamburger, you decrease your chance of food poisoning. Vegetables may be contaminated by fecal material from the fields where the vegetables are grown or from poor sanitation on the part of workers who harvest these vegetables. No matter how fresh and clean your vegetables look, they should be thoroughly washed and drained before use. Buying from a reputable food store increases your chances for safety as most of the large chain stores have strict food purchasing and handling protocols.

Making sure you buy your foods in a careful manner, is only the first step. Food preparation is also a common source of contamination. Unclean cutting boards and other contaminated surface areas will pass bacterial contamination onto foodstuffs that are prepared on those surfaces. Cleaning surfaces prior to food preparation with a mix of water and dish-soap will decontaminate 99% of all surface areas.

Foodstuffs prepared with mayonnaise are especially susceptible to bacterial growth during the summer heat. Refrigeration and rapid consumption of foodstuffs after removal from refrigeration is the best way to avoid a bad summer experience.

Always wash your hands before and after preparing foods. Wash with hot soapy water and use disposable towels for wiping and cleanup wherever possible. Some people suggest using separate cutting boards for preparing raw meat and poultry, and a separate board for vegetables. Wherever possible keep hot foods hot (over 150°F) and cold foods cold (under 40°F).

Trust your senses. If food looks strange or smells bad or otherwise worries you, don't eat it. It is not worth the risk.

The symptoms of food poisoning may vary with the source of the contamination. Most types of food poisoning cause one or more of the following: nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, stomach cramps, fatigue and fever. You should see a doctor or go to an emergency room immediately if you have any of the following symptoms: frequent episodes of vomiting for more than 2 days; vomiting blood; inability to keep fluids down for 24 hours; severe diarrhea for more than 3 days; blood in your bowel movement; extreme pain or severe abdominal cramping; an oral temperature higher than 101.5 F; or, signs of dehydration such as excessive thirst, dry mouth, little or no urination, severe weakness, dizziness or lightheadedness.

If you are a victim of food poisoning, chances are you will not be the only one to get sick as others have probably eaten from the same store, restaurant or picnic. If you suspect a source, check with others who ate the same food at the restaurant or purchased hamburger or other foods from the same grocery store.

Although most cases of food poisoning cause mild symptoms, food poisoning can be life threatening, so when in doubt, it is better to go to the emergency room or see your doctor.

Charfoos & Christensen, P.C. has been handling food poisoning claims for over 35 years. From contaminated mushrooms on pizzas, to contaminated peppers, to contaminated hamburger, our firm has made recoveries against commercial grocers and restaurants. Saving samples of suspected food and gathering the names and phone numbers of other customers who shopped at the same store or ate at the same restaurant is always helpful in proving food poisoning cases.

If you believe you have been a victim of serious food poisoning resulting in hospitalization or a permanent injury, please feel free to call any of the lawyers at Charfoos & Christensen, P.C.

J. Douglas Peters
(313) 875-8080

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice law in Michigan, in 2006, is a complex and highly
regulated area of law as a result of Republican legislatures and Governor
Engler’s attempts to limit the amounts of money that can be recovered, shorten
the statutes of limitations, that is the time within which lawsuits might be brought,
as well as a variety of other changes which make the litigation of these cases
more expensive and complex.
As a result of the Michigan Legislative and Michigan Supreme Court
decisions limiting the rights and recoveries of medical malpractice patients in
Michigan, the public must carefully select an attorney who is experienced in the
specialty field of medical malpractice.
Patients used to have three years from the date of malpractice to file a
suit. That has now been shortened to two years. Although patients can still
recover for past and future medical expenses, health insurers are increasingly
asking to be repaid the health insurance dollars they paid for the malpractice
patient’s care. The Michigan legislature has limited the amount of money that can
be recovered for pain and suffering to $380,000 where the patient, regardless of
the consequences, has an injury that does not involve permanent paralysis,
coma and/or brain damage. Where there is permanent paralysis, coma and/or
brain damage, the maximum amount that can be recovered is $680,000. The law
also provides that if a patient is receiving disability insurance benefits, life
insurance benefits or other benefits from “collateral sources”, the wrongdoing
defendant gets the benefit of the coverage purchased by the patient and these
sums are subtracted from any recovery the patient might make.
Some medical specialties, such as neurosurgery, orthopedics and
obstetrics and gynecology present special medical malpractice litigation
problems. The Michigan Society of Orthopedic Surgeons, the Michigan Society of
Neurosurgery and the Michigan Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have
met and agreed that none of their members, regardless of the merits of the case,
will testify against other members of the same specialty. This forces patient
plaintiffs and their attorneys to seek expert testimony from experts outside of the
State of Michigan. This creates a strong disadvantage to the patient plaintiff
because all of the defendant physician’s experts come from hospitals and
universities in the State of Michigan.
The general rules outlining and defining medical malpractice remain the
same, however. In order for a claim to be brought, the patient must show that the
physician deviated from the accepted medical standard of care of that specialty
and that an injury was caused by that deviation that otherwise would not have
happened. Because of the changes in Michigan’s Supreme Court case law and
legislative changes as well, the cost of bringing medical malpractice cases has
doubled or tripled in most instances over the last l0 years. This means that
attorneys practicing in the specialty of medical malpractice litigation may now
reject cases that previously would have been accepted because the amount of
the recovery is less or equal to the amount of money that would have to be spent
to bring the case.
Careful case selection and work-up prior to filing suit is the cornerstone of
a successful medical malpractice case. Attorney Larry Charfoos of Charfoos &
Christensen recovered the first million dollar medical malpractice verdict in 1973.
In the approximate 30 years since that verdict, attorneys with Charfoos &
Christensen have developed and expanded their expertise in the field of medical
malpractice at the trial level, the trial preparation and work-up levels. Charfoos &
Christensen attorneys have authored and co-authored scholarly articles and
books (see Publications) on a multitude of medical malpractice issues causing
the firm to be recognized as the preeminent medical malpractice firm in the State
of Michigan.

Monday, April 25, 2011

orkut blog: Badges on orkut! Can you collect them all?

orkut blog: Badges on orkut! Can you collect them all?: "You might have noticed something new in orkut. Some of your friends may have little icons on their profile pages, and you may start seeing ..."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Saving your own life can be as easy as getting a colonoscopy screening.
Over 50,000 people died from colon cancer in 2010. Over 100,000 new cases of colon cancer were diagnosed that same year. Fortunately, there is a 90% survival rate when the cancer is treated early. Unfortunately, only 40% of colon cancers are found early.
Everyone 50 years old or over should have a colonoscopy if they haven’t had one yet. Most insurers cover this test.
Although the colonoscopy is painless, the 24 hour prep, although painless too, is not fun. The bowel preparation requires the patient to drink approximately 1 gallon of special liquid that cleans all fecal material from the bowel. This allows the colonoscopist a totally clear view of your bowel.
For people found with 1 or 2 small precancerous polyps, the next follow-up colonoscopy should be in 5 years. 3 years follow up is recommended for people will bigger or multiple polyps. For people with benign polyps or none at all, a colonoscopy is recommended every 10 years thereafter.
If you are 50 yrs old and have not had your first colonoscopy yet, do not put it off any longer. If you wait until you have symptoms, such as rectal bleeding, abdominal distension, or abdominal pain, your chances of recovery may be diminished.
As attorneys’ in the business of suing physicians and hospitals that fail in their obligations to patients, we are also mindful of patients’ obligations to themselves. For this reason we have inserted this little column.

J.Douglas Peters
5510 Woodward Ave.
Detroit, MI 48202
(313) 875-8080