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Eighteen New Jersey medical professionals have faced legal trouble during the past year due to reasons such as opioid, sex, fraud, or stabbing charges involving patients. Some of these cases include a registered nurse who stabbed a 10-year old autistic child with a needle when he was behaving disruptively. The nurse, Naomi Derrick of Sicklerville, supposedly threatened the autistic child with a needle while he was being hospitalized in an Atlantic City psychiatric unit.

According to reports from the Office of Attorney General, Derrick stabbed the child at least six times throughout the duration of the 12 hour shift. Derrick’s conduct was recorded using a security camera found in the room, which revealed footage of her stabbing the child on his “upper arm, thigh, kneecaps, [and] foot and hand” resulting in an accumulation of blood droplets. Derrick claims she did not actually stab the child, but did admit to using the needle as a threat to encourage good behavior.

Other cases of poor ethics in the New Jersey medical community include individuals who have been accused of taking bribes, such as the case of a Bergen County pharmacist, Eduard Shtindler, who is charged with conspiracy for health care fraud. Shtindler supposedly paid kickbacks to a Hudson County based psychiatrist in order to provoke the doctor to direct his patients to the pharmacy that Shtindler owns in West New York. This scheme resulted in nearly $3 million worth of medications prescribed by the doctor which were filled by Shtindler’s pharmacy.

When pursuing a divorce, child custody is one of the primary factors to consider for parents. Historically, women in the United States have traditionally assumed the role of primary caretaker following a divorce. However, this trend has changed, which has opened up a larger dialogue and debate about the pros and cons of joint custody agreements.

What Are Joint Custody Agreements?

Joint custody agreements allow both parents to have equal responsibilities in the child-raising process.

As with any relationship-conflict, divorces exist on a wide spectrum of high and low conflict. Generally, many low-conflict marriages can result in low-impact divorces, while high-conflict marriages typically lead to high-conflict divorces. When trying to assess the conflict level of your relationship with a partner that you are going through a divorce with, consider these factors:

Mediation

Low-conflict marriages are typically low-conflict divorces. As such, these divorces can sometimes be settled with meditation, which can be a less expensive alternative to divorce. A successful mediation can result in a friendly divorce after proceedings. Alternatively, high-conflict divorces often require more significant litigation in order to protect assets and secure favorable custody agreements if children are involved.

Newark, NJ citizen and nursing home assistant Monique Beaucejourwas recently charged for the manslaughter of 85-year old Fannie McClain, who perished while under Beaucejour’s care at Waterview Nursing Home in Cedar Grove, NJ.

According to officials, Beaucejour was aware of McClain’s fall and consequent head injury on August 13, 2019. However, despite McClain’s declining medical condition, Beaucejour neglected to find assistance, and instead blamed the fall on another patient who was suffering from dementia. In fact, she left McClain alone and re-entered the room nearly thirty minutes after the fall, while pretending that it was her first time seeing McClain in the deteriorated state. As a result, McClain suffered three deep wounds on her head, a broken neck, and a brain bleed. For this reason, Beaucejour is currently being charged with reckless manslaughter, obstruction, and neglect of the elderly.

The Waterview Center has responded to this incident claiming that, “We are very concerned about this incident as the safety and well-being of our residents is our highest priority…”. Despite this statement, this incident shines a light on the rising amount of nursing home abuse cases in both New Jersey and the United States.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy recently passed a lawthat erases rules that previously “slammed New Jersey auto accident victims with up to $250,000 in medical bills” for accidents that were not the victim’s fault. The law is designed to help those who purchase cheaper auto insurance plans that can leave them with insurmountable amounts of debt in the event of a car accident.

In addition to a comprehensive $250,000 personal injury protection plan that comes with most New Jersey car insurance policies, the state also permits a less expensive option that only covers up to $15,000 in personal injury protection. While this option can be a less costly month-to-month alternative, it can set drivers back tens of thousands of dollars even if they are not at fault for their accident.

The legal action has been inspired by the story of 27-year-old Josh Haines, a New Jersey resident who was saddled with tens of thousands of dollars in debt after a car accident he was involved in eight years ago. According to Josh, “’I’m left in the dark … this was eight years ago and it’s still setting me back.’” In 2011, Josh was driving from Camden County Community College when he was struck by a vehicle that was hydroplaning. His medical bills totaled $30,000, which is nearly double what his less-expensive insurance plan covered.

After three months of hospitalization for schizophrenia, a 29-year old New Jersey resident Michael Vecchio has passed away after facing starvation for thirty days. Consequently, his mother Beth is suing the facility,Greystone Park psychiatric Hospital in Parsippany. The suit, filed by the patient’s mother, accuses the facility of wrongful death and negligence.

According to the hospital staff, Michael refused to eat because he claimed that he was a “‘Zen master’ and like Gandhi, would not eat”. Michael’s family is asserting that the facility should have still provided Michael adequate care given the fact that he was actively psychotic and thereby incapable of making appropriate medical decisions for himself. Unfortunately, following the irrational demands of patients is often the case in many instances of neglectful care.

Vecchio’s death is only one example of the many cases of negligent care for mentally ill patients. For example, many poorly operated care facilities use the patient’s refusal of care as an excuse to not perform their job properly.

If you are entering a New Jersey marriage, it may be wise to consider a pre-nuptial agreement before officially tying the knot.

What is a Prenuptial Agreement?

A prenuptial agreement is a popular way to safeguard your assets and financial security in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements protect a variety of pre-marital assets including real estate, investment accounts, trusts, and foreign assets. Notably, if a couple is seeking a prenuptial agreement in the state of New Jersey, both parties must disclose all assets and obtain independent legal counsel.

Slip and fall cases are some of the most complex personal injury cases to litigate due a variety of compounding factors. For one, the plaintiff must be able to attribute their fall to the place of business’ negligence. This is particularly difficult to prove, considering that in order to assert the business owner’s negligence, there must be proof that they had previous knowledge of faulty conditions and did not make adjustments accordingly.

New Jersey Slip-and-Fall Accident FAQs

Slip and fall cases are often difficult to litigate due to burden of proving negligence. 

Foremost, it is important to acknowledge that slip and fall cases are typically considered negligence cases and thereby must follow the same legal patterns as negligence cases. As with other tort and negligence cases, assessing the legal liability of the accused party can be accomplished by evaluating three critical elements of a slip and fall case. These elements are duty, breach of duty and causation.

A divorce can often be a tiring and complicated process for a family. When embarking on this often long and arduous process, it is essential to consider best practices to take in order to maximize legal protections during the divorce process.

Here are some tips that can be taken in order to maintain a strong position during a divorce lawsuit:

  1. Close Joint Credit Card Accounts

A prominent New Jersey personal injury case, Tomasi v. ShopRitewas recently settled on February 25, 2019. As the case details, Woodbridge resident Michael Tomasi slipped on grapes in the produce department of ShopRite in Woodbridge, NJ in December of 2015. While he did not directly fall onto the ground, Tomasi had to contort his body in an unnatural position in order to brace himself from further injury. Following the slip, Tomasi immediately experienced strong neck pain.

Since Tomasi already suffered from a pre-existing neck injury, the slip escalated his current conditions. As a result, he needed two surgeries. One of these surgeries was a spinal fusion surgery, which is known to be particularly intensive. According to the plaintiffs (Michael Tomasi and his wife Alison), ShopRite was responsible for cleaning the aisles of the store in order to maintain the safety of shoppers.

As with other tort and negligence cases, assessing the legal liability of the accused party can be accomplished by evaluating four critical elements of a personal injury case. These elements are duty, breach of duty, causation, and damages.

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