Archives for : September2014

What Can I Expect Out Of My Anesthesiologist?

The anesthesiologist is the professional who will be applying the numbing process known as anesthesia to you when you are going to have surgery. Depending on the scope of the surgery and the decision made by your doctor, you might have a local anesthetic, where only a small portion of your body is numbed, a regional anesthetic, where a larger portion of your body is numbed, or a general anesthetic, where you are rendered entirely unconscious.

The anesthesiologist will be making contact with you at some point before your surgery. He or she might appear as much as two or three days before you are due for your procedure or you might not see them until the day of the surgery itself. They will introduce themselves to you, and they will answer any questions that you might have about the process. Essentially, their task is to ensure that you are healthy enough of the anesthetic that they are going to give you and to make sure that there are no extenuating circumstances that might interfere with the effectiveness of the procedure.

Some of the questions that the anesthesiologist might ask will relate to your current and your past health. They may ask if there are any conditions that you are currently being affected by or they may want to know about your family’s health. They may also want to know about the medications and supplements that you are taking. When you are speaking to the anesthesiologist, remember that you should be as detailed as possible. Some people bring along a list of all of the medications and supplements that you are taking, including the amounts.

The anesthesiologist will also likely ask you questions about your habits. Because these answers can affect the treatment that you are likely to receive, you should be honest with your answers. The anesthesiologist will want to know whether you smoke, drink or take any drugs that are not listed on your charts, so just be honest!

One important question that the anesthesiologist will ask you is whether anyone in your family has had an adverse reaction to an anesthetic. Your answer might change the procedure that the anesthesiologist wants to perform, so be as honest and as candid as you can be.

You have a right to the best care available, so make sure that you know what to expect when the anesthesiologist wants to speak with you! Contact us today to get started!

Medical Malpractice: Psychologist Abuse

“Alicia” met her psychologist in September 2001. It wasn’t her first visit to a psychotherapist. She’d seen others, mostly women, during her late teens and early twenties in an attempt to deal with mild depression, self esteem issues and unresolved guilt stemming from the loss of her father to cancer when she was 8 years old. Her mother’s unexpected death at a young age didn’t help Alicia’s contrition. She began struggle more and more with relationships, her health, and the majority of tense situations in her life. She need held. That’s when she met Dr. “Allen”

Dr. Allen was a clinical psychologist with a private practice in Santa Ana, Wyoming. Because Alicia’s boyfriend and her were in couples counseling at the time and Dr. Allen’s name was one of two they were given when asked about individual counseling. Dr. Allen was described as “spiritual”, which at the time sounded like a good thing to her. She felt this was a doctor who could help her.

Dr. Allen did turn out to be a pretty great guy. He was in his early 40s, wore jeans to the office, and had a great sense of humor and easy-going nature that appealed to Alicia. She felt comfortable with him and relatively easy to talk to. More importantly, he listened to her, wanted to hear what she had to say, and seemed to really understand her. To a woman who had often felt unseen and unheard in her relationships, Dr. Allen was like a dream come true.

Dr. Allen quickly won all of her loyalty. Whenever she’d complain about something her couples therapist had said, Dr. Allen came to her defense. His assessments of her issues were generally kinder and much more flattering than others’, and his confidence in his diagnostic skills left her feeling safe and reassured. Clearly, he knew and understood her far better than any couples therapist did. He seemed to have all the answers to life, love and the universe. Alicia had developed a deep respect for him and looked up to him as her teacher, spiritual guide, and the older brother she’d always wanted but never had—someone who would guide her, advise her, protect her, and defend her honor.

It was all a facade.

Before the year passed, Dr. Allen had approached Alicia in an unapologetically, unprofessional manner. He used her trust of him to take advantage of her, emotionally, spiritually and, at times, physically. Three years transpired and, when she finally crawled out of the destructive relationship, she was more broken then before.

Believe it or not, situations like this are all too common.

Call Us Today

Psychologists hold a power that allows them to easily take, at least mental, advantage of their patients. If you feel you are the victim of psychologist’s abuse, contact us today. We offer a free telephone, online or in person consultation. We will welcome you to one of our law offices, or we can visit you in your hospital or home location. Our Santa Rosa and Sacramento attorneys will listen to you, consider the facts and offer preliminary advice about how to pursue the maximum available compensation for your injuries and losses.

Wrongful Termination

When someone has been fired from his or her job, there is often the question of whether the termination was legal or illegal. While most employment is “at will,” which means an employee may be fired at any time and for any reason or for no reason at all, there are some important exceptions to the at-will rule. Thankfully there are legal remedies that may help you keep your job or sue your former employer for wrongful termination.

To aid in your investigation as to whether you were illegally fired, here are several questions to ask yourself.

Did My Boss Make Any Bias Comments Before I Was Fired?

If your boss made sexist or racist jokes, said they thought you were too old or your disability made you unable to do the job, or made other comments that would indicate a bias, you might have direct evidence of discrimination.

Was I Treated Differently than Others?

Were you treated differently than those of a different race, sex, religion, national origin or age? Often it is helpful to find out if there are people who have also been the victims of similar discrimination. Compare the similarities of your situations.

Why Was I Actually Fired?

Sometimes, when thinking back, you’ll notice your firing came after an action on your part. If you made a worker’s compensation claim and were fired a week later, that’s a good indication, you were fired in retaliation for making the claim. If you reported your supervisor for Medicare fraud, and then the supervisor fires you, you may have a whistleblower claim.

Contact Us Today

Even if you’re not sure that you are the victim of wrongful or illegal termination, we can help you investigate your claim. We offer a free telephone, online or in person consultation. Contact us to schedule your appointment. We will welcome you to one of our law offices, or we can visit you in your hospital or home location. Our Santa Rosa and Sacramento attorneys will listen to you, consider the facts and offer preliminary advice about how to pursue the maximum available compensation for your injuries and losses.

Anesthesia Errors & How They Affect Your Surgery & Recovery

Surgery is scary, and when you make a decision to go under the knife, you aren’t just placing your life in the hands of the surgeon.  You’re also trusting the people who provide anesthesia.  That’s why it’s necessary to understand that mistakes and negligence during this critical phase of care can have dangerous consequences.

Who Is Providing the Anesthesia?

While anesthesia may be provided by your medical doctor, most often it is performed by a specially trained advanced nurse practitioner or anesthesiologist. Sometimes medical residents in training will participate in providing anesthesia care.  Often, you will not know exactly who is providing the anesthesia care until shortly before the procedure.   When a longer surgery is in play, responsibility for anesthesia care is commonly handed off during meal breaks or shift changes.

Can Anesthesia Errors Occur?

Absolutely. Extreme care must be taken during all phases of anesthesia.  You as the patient must be properly assessed for risk factors such as sleep apnea and allergic reactions to medicine.  The anesthesia must be given in specific doses throughout the surgery. You must be monitored and positioned to avoid breathing problems and nerve damage. After surgery, the anesthesia has to be “reversed” correctly, which requires close care and attention.

Additionally, here are a few errors commonly made when administering anesthesia:

  • Failure to Identify Patients with Pre-Existing Airway Problems
  • Errors in Delivering Spinal and Epidural Anesthesia
  • Improper Placement of Tubes and IV Lines
  • Missing Changes in the Patient’s Condition
  • Discharging Patients from the Post-Anesthesia Care Unit Before They Have Recovered.

A fundamental goal of anesthesia care is to safely sedate and numb patients while still delivering all oxygen needed in the body.

Lack of oxygen can result in:

  • Brain damage
  • Stroke
  • Seizure
  • Organ Failure
  • Heart attack
  • Death

How Do I Know if I’m Victim of Anesthesia Error?

Often, patients or family members are told that there were complications after a patient is injured or dies as a result of an anesthesia error.  Family members often have unanswered questions about what happened, and wonder about mistakes or negligent care.

If you feel you are the victim of anesthesia errors, contact us today. We offer a free telephone, online or in person consultation. Contact us to schedule your appointment. We will welcome you to one of our law offices, or we can visit you in your hospital or home location. Our Santa Rosa and Sacramento attorneys will listen to you, consider the facts and offer preliminary advice about how to pursue the maximum available compensation for your injuries and losses. Call 707-525-1212 (Santa Rosa), 916-448-1010 (Sacramento), or email us.

Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

Sexual harassment is always an unwelcomed act, but when it happens in the workplace it is a form of unlawful sex discrimination. Because sexual harassment is not always clearly understood, it’s important to note that the law defines it as unwelcomed verbal, visual, non-verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature based on someone’s sex that is severe or pervasive and creates a hostile work environment or affects working conditions.

Above you’ll find several key phrases within the definition that help us understand your rights and any potential legal claims you may have:


For it to be illegal, sexual harassment must be unwelcomed. This means you do not want it. Because of this, it is important to communicate to the harasser that you want the conduct to stop and/or that it is making you uncomfortable

“Of a Sexual Nature” or “Based on Sex”

Though many different kinds of physical, verbal, nonverbal or visual conduct of a sexual nature may be sexual harassment, here are some clearer examples:

Verbal or Written

  • Commenting on a person’s clothing, personal behavior, personal relationships, or body
  • Making Sexual Jokes or Innuendos
  • Requesting Sexual Favors
  • Spreading Rumors About One’s Sexual Life
  • Threatening a Person for Refusing Sexual Advances


  • Impeding Someone’s Movement
  • Inappropriate Touching of a Body or Clothing
  • Kissing, Hugging or Stroking
  • Touching Someone Without Her Consent


  • Staring at A Person’s Body
  • Making Derogatory Gestures
  • Following a Person Around


  • Displaying Posters, Drawings, Pictures, Screensavers or Emails of a Sexual Nature

Contact Us Today

While these explanations cover a lot of ground, it is important to understand that sexual harassment does not have to be sexually suggestive. There are many cases of harassment that include one individual making another feel uncomfortable. If you feel you are the victim of anything described here, contact us today.

We offer a free telephone, online or in person consultation. Contact us to schedule your appointment. We will welcome you to one of our law offices, or we can visit you in your hospital or home location. Our Santa Rosa and Sacramento attorneys will listen to you, consider the facts and offer preliminary advice about how to pursue the maximum available compensation for your injuries and losses.

Common Misconceptions of Medical Malpractice

Many people incorrectly believe that medical malpractice lawsuits are frivolous, and that there are more suits filed than legitimate medical errors. In reality, the opposite is true. The American Medical Association reports that over 200,000 people die from medical malpractice every year, and the majority of these cases never result in lawsuits. This statistic proves that patients often don’t understand their rights or what actually constitutes malpractice. Here are other misconceptions that may be preventing victims from seeking help.

Malpractice Always Results in Death or Serious Injury

The severity of the injury is not what constitutes the legitimacy of a malpractice suit. Some of the most common malpractice suits involve misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis, where a doctor has simply failed to identify an illness as quickly as they should have. Negligent doctors are just as susceptible to causing harm as those who make grave errors on the operating table, and it’s not always harm you can detect right away.

Everyone Makes Mistakes, Therefore Doctors Cannot be Held Accountable

No one expects doctors to be perfect, and indeed, in many cases, the error is beyond their control. In a malpractice case, the jury tries to decide if the doctor has lived up to a reasonable standard of care. Everything from being under the influence of alcohol to failing to administer the right tests can be seen as failing to meet a reasonable standard of care. Doctors are not held accountable for every bad judgment call, but they have to be effective at doing their job.

Malpractice Suits are Only for Doctors

while physician errors are the most common, malpractice suits can be filed against any healthcare professional. Nurses and pharmacists can be guilty of prescription drug errors, another common form of malpractice. Hospital staff, ambulance workers, and technicians are all capable of causing injury. If a malpractice suit involves anesthesia, medical products, or pregnancy care, a variety of different specialists or institutions could be at fault.

It’s a mistake to believe that doctors and hospitals are guilty of malpractice every time something goes wrong during treatment. Patient consent forms are designed to inform you of the risks, and unforeseen errors can happen. But many patients overlook the fact that they have serious grounds for a malpractice suit. Problems can always arise, but healthcare professionals have a duty to protect their patients from harm as much as possible.

Contact us today if you’ve experienced medical malpractice.

Common Forms of Sex Discrimination in the Workplace

While there have been great strides in the fight for equity, there are still instances where people are treated unfairly due to their gender. Despite laws enacted to level the playing field, sex discrimination is still fairly prevalent in the workplace. If you have been a victim of discrimination based on your gender, understanding your rights is the first step in getting justice.

Common Examples of Sex Discrimination


    • A highly-qualified and experienced female candidate is turned down for a sales position at a company that hires primarily men for the position.
    • Male teachers are routinely denied positions working with young children simply because they are male.


    • Female employees regularly sexually harass a male employee, calling him degrading names and making unwanted sexual advances toward him.
    • A female assistant declines to share a hotel room with her male boss and is passed over for a raise or recieves a negative performance review despite a stellar work record.

Sex discrimination at work comes in all forms. If you feel you have been discriminated against due to your gender, there are laws that will protect you. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prevents discrimination based on sex. This means that it is illegal to treat someone unfavorably in hiring, firing, benefits, compensation and terms of employment simply based upon their sex.

In addition, it is illegal for an employer to assign certain benefits to employees of one sex and not the other. A common example of this is an employer that offers a cash bonus to the wives of their sales executives. Unless this employer also offers the same bonus to the husbands of their female executives, this preferential treatment is illegal.

An employer may not fire you or treat you any differently based on your status as a pregnant woman. Under the law, pregnancy is treated as a temporary disability and the rights of pregnant women are protected under the Americans With Disabilities Act as well as the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.

Discrimination Based on Gender Stereotypes

Gender stereotyping in the workplace is still prevalent, and you may have a case if you have been discriminated because of them. The perfect example of gender stereotype discrimination is an employer who passes up a married employee for a position that requires frequent travel because he assumes she will want to spend more time with family.

If you believe you have been the victim of sex discrimination in the workplace, contact us to discuss your rights.

Birth Injuries: Natural or Medical error?

When a newborn is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it’s normal to wonder what went wrong—what caused the lasting brain damage and could have been done to prevent it. For one Louisiana families, these questions led to a lawsuit. The family, according to their local new outlets, delivered a child in the hospital of their small town. The child has since been diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

The Downer Family

The Downer family alleged the doctors delayed treatment during a difficult delivery. The delivery didn’t progress normally, so after several hours, the doctors ordered a C-section. When the baby was delivered, he was pale and limp, according to the mother. The family alleged the hospital took too long to resuscitate their son and to order a C-section in the first place.

At two-years old, the baby was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Who is to Blame When Cerebral Palsy is Diagnosed?

Though, cerebral palsy can be caused by infections, severe jaundice, high levels of bilirubin in the blood, or a deprivation of oxygen during the delivery process, there are those cases where a cerebral palsy diagnosis is entirely preventable, when the diagnosis is directly caused by a failure to act, an injury, or a needlessly extended delivery on the part of medical staff. In these cases, families have every right to place blame and to demand accountability.

Questions to Ask

It’s quite possible a detailed investigation into the facts of your case may reveal that a healthcare provider was medically negligent, contributing to or causing your baby’s hypoxic brain damage which caused cerebral palsy. Here are common, investigatory questions to ask:

  • Did your OBGYN adequately screen you for risk factors during prenatal care?
  • Did nurses regularly monitor vital signs of the fetus during labor, and respond promptly to signals of fetal distress?
  • If a C-section was called for because your labor was progressing too slowly or because of some complicating factor, such as a prolapsed umbilical cord, did your obstetrician perform the Cesarean section in a timely manner?

Answering these and related questions will form part of the discovery phase of your birth injury case if you decide to retain Teal & Montgomery on a contingency basis — and if we decide to file a birth injury claim or lawsuit on your behalf.

Call Us Today

Whether your child suffers from cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, or any number of delivery related complications, we’re here to help. Contact us today. We offer a free telephone, online or in person consultation. We will welcome you to one of our law offices, or we can visit you in your hospital or home location. Our Santa Rosa and Sacramento attorneys will listen to you, consider the facts and offer preliminary advice about how to pursue the maximum available compensation for your injuries and losses.

Can I Be Fired After Obtaining A Workplace Injury?

A person who sustains an injury at work may wonder if he or she can be fired. The short answer is no, but sometimes employers find ways to do so. First, any employer that has more than three employees is supposed to have a workers’ compensation policy to protect its employees. A workers’ compensation policy pays injured employees a portion of their wages while they are recovering from an injury. The employer is supposed to grant the employee the time that he or she needs to recover as stated by the doctor.

Some workplace injuries may happen because of a wrong that the worker has done. For example, an intoxicated employee who gets hurt because of his or her condition is at fault. If the employer forces the employee to take a drug or alcohol test, and that person fails the test, then the employer has the right to terminate the employee, or at the very least, ask the employee to seek help for alcohol or drug addiction. Working while intoxicated is a serious rule that many employers have. They state such rules and their consequences in the hiring paperwork in most cases. In such a situation, the employee would have a tough time proving unfair termination.

A completely opposite situation would be one in which the employee was not at fault for the incident. In such a case, the employee may be protected under workers’ compensation or the Family and Medical Leave Act. An employer may not fire an employee who is protected under FMLA or workers’ compensation. If such does occur, then the employee would have legal recourse to hire an attorney who handles unfair termination. The Americans with Disabilities Act is another order of protection for injured employees.

Some employers try to get around the laws that are in place by terminating an employee for an alternative reason. They could try to use any reason, as long as they do not blatantly state that the employee is being terminated for a disability or injury. Such cases require specialized attorneys who have experience in unfair terminations by employers.

Finding a firm with experience and finesse is the best way to win such a complex case. The best firms are firms that have documented success and passion for helping less fortunate people. Teal & Montgomery is an example of such a firm. The firm fights for workers who cannot fight for themselves. Contact us to learn more.

Amputation – Medical Malpractice

Unfortunately, negligence during amputations are becoming increasingly common. Whether it is the result of an improperly trained surgeon, a rushed surgery, or any number of factors, negligence can make this difficult process even harder.

An amputation is the surgical removal of an extremity. The amputation procedure varies depending on which extremity the surgery is being performed on, as well as how much bone and tissue needs to be removed. Other factors, such as an individual’s overall health, any pre-existing diseases, and other conditions, can affect how the surgery is approached. A physician will decide the level of amputation required, based upon the healing potential of the limb. He will also take into account any diseases which could affect patient recovery, as well as the overall damage to the area.

During the actual amputation, the damaged tissue is removed, as well as any damaged bone. The surgical team will ensure that the maximum amount of healthy tissue is left behind, while also sealing off any blood vessels and nerve endings. After the amputation has been completed, the physician will decide whether to leave the area open, or to close it off if no further amputation is required.

The amputation process can give rise to a number of complications and life threatening conditions if not performed properly. Patients with advanced heart disease, diabetes, or other conditions, may be at a greater risk for developing post surgical complications. A patient can also develop serious complications as a result of the surgical team being negligent.

The most common forms of surgical negligence involve the amputation of an incorrect extremity, further amputation than necessary, and an improperly performed amputation. Negligence which has resulted in an incorrectly performed amputation, can cause a patient to experience pain in the amputation area due to damaged nerves. Unfortunately, this pain is often chronic and can last for the rest of the patient’s life. If any of these relate to an amputation you have had performed, you may be entitled to compensation. Further, if you developed an infection requiring further amputation, you may also be entitled to compensation.

An amputation can often be a life changing event. This process can be very hard on an individual, often requiring significant rehabilitation time. Negligence on the part of the surgical team performing the amputation can make this healing process even more difficult. If you believe you have been the victim of negligence, contact the Teal Law Group today for a free consultation.