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Support Patient Safety: Vote Yes on Prop. 46

A monumental battle over patient safety in California will be decided on Election Day in the form of Proposition 46 – the Troy and Alana Pack Patient Safety Act. The namesakes of this initiative are two young children who died at the hands of an intoxicated motorist high on prescription medication. The motorist had literally been prescribed thousands of Vicodin from six different doctors all in the same Kaiser system.

Proposition 46 will work to end the notorious problem of “doctor shopping” for narcotics and other patient safety concerns.

Proposition 46 will mandate use of the state’s existing prescription drug database. Right now only 6 percent of doctors bother to use this system to ensure their patients are not getting narcotics from other doctors, although the database was created for this precise purpose.

Proposition 46 will also require random drug and alcohol testing of doctors. Nearly one in five doctors suffers substance abuse problems in their career. Moreover, preventable medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States, behind heart disease and cancer – 440,000 victims a year! This is the same testing already in place for airline pilots, policeman and bus drivers

Proposition 46 will also raise the state’s medical malpractice limits on “pain and suffering” damages from $250,000 to $1,100,000. This would simply increase the existing limit by the cost of inflation from when it was introduced 38 years ago. Raising the limits would hold doctors and hospitals accountable for their medical negligence where, now, most of these cases cannot be afford to by prosecuted by attorneys because they are so expensive.

There are two very wealthy groups that oppose this proposition: doctors and insurance companies.

Together this two groups have already raised a staggering $35 million dollars to oppose Proposition 46. Sadly and tellingly, their opposition focuses almost solely on the financial “cost” of implementing these changes.

The opponents of Prop. 46 never mention the cost to society of the needless loss of our loved ones due to doctors not being held accountable for preventable medical deaths due to doctors who are inebriated or high, or motorists high on prescription drugs that should never should have been given to them.

At Minami Tamaki, our bottom line is to make our communities and state safer for all of us. Based on this belief, we stand and fight for Proposition 46 and ask you to do the same. You can do this by contributing time or money, or simply by voting for Proposition 46 and encouraging others to do so.

Our justice system failed Troy and Alana Pack. Let us not let it fail any more of us or our children. YES ON 46!

Before ‘Linsanity’ the movie, Evan Leong did a film for us

Before ‘Linsanity’ the movie, Evan Leong did a film for us

Linsanity-posterLINSANITY, the documentary about basketball star Jeremy Lin, last night kicked off CAAMFest 2013, or what was previously known as the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival.

Attorneys Mark Fong and Olivia Lee were among the attendees in the sold-out crowd at the Castro Theatre for the screening. Olivia was so excited to see the film that she was the first in line (photo below).

This independent film by Evan Jackson Leong has received rave reviews and even a coveted screening at the Sundance Film Festival.

But few know that before LINSANITY and the movie about what became a sports phenomenon, Evan actually made a film for our law firm.

Well, it wasn’t really a film. It was a mediation video for one of our big personal injury cases. But still an Evan Jackson Leong production of our own!

We’re thrilled at Evan’s success with this film and wish him continued good fortune as LINSANITY continues its film festival tour!

Olivia Lee of our Immigration Practice Group first in line at the CAAMFest 2013 screening of LINSANITY.

$3.1M Recovery in Medical Malpractice Case

Please note that every legal matter is different. The outcome of each legal case depends upon many factors, including the facts of the case, and no attorney can guarantee a positive result in any particular case. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

We represented a 51-year old Home Care Provider, who was driving in the course and scope of his employment as a caregiver in San Francisco. Our client was struck by a Hummer rented from the Hertz Corporation and driven by a foreign tourist making an illegal turn on a red light. He was taken the emergency department of the local hospital by ambulance but at the emergency department, Vernon’s treating physicians’ inadvertently injured his spinal cord rendering him a partial quadriplegic.

Senior Counsel Mark Fong, Partner Dale Minami and Associate Eunice Yang, handled both the auto accident claim which settled for Hertz’ policy limits of $1 million and later settled the claim against the physicians and the hospital for $2.1 million.

Our client faced a number of challenges in settling the medical malpractice case. First, noneconomic damages were capped at $250,000 due to MICRA. His past and future wage loss claim was $252,157. Defendants argued plaintiff’s claim for future medical expenses was unrecoverable as a matter of law, as the compensation carrier had agreed to provide John with lifetime medical care and defendants were entitled to introduce this fact to the jury.

The PI team argued, however, through Plaintiff’s experts in healthcare financial administration, life care planning and workers compensation utilization review, that workers compensation is unlikely to pay for much of the treatment he will need over the next 30 years, leaving him exposed at the time when he will most need care.

The team settled the medical malpractice case for $2.1 million, recovering his entire wage and the terms of the settlement provides Vernon with the lifetime care that he needs

Pedestrian Safety Education

Pedestrian Safety Education

Since the 1950s, San Francisco pedestrians have faced a steady risk of being injured or killed by motorists.

Senior citizens, in particular, face the greatest risk for being fatally injured when hit by cars. A S.F. Health Department’s study of pedestrian deaths revealed that while adults 65 years of age and older account for 15% of the city’s total population, they account for nearly 50% of pedestrians killed in traffic accidents.

As an attorney who has handled numerous cases in Japantown, I have seen too many tragedies of accidents with the elderly. After my last case involving Kenji Suzuki’s unfortunate death, I felt that public education of the elderly in Japantown was necessary to prevent future deaths and injuries. So, with the generosity of the Suzuki/Sato families, we decided to do SOMETHING about this problem. Please share this website with elderly Japanese Americans and their families who live, work and visit Japantown.