Category: Child Injuries

Living like “A Normal Family”: Raising a Child with a Birth Injury

by John McKiggan

In a landmark victory for 7 year-old plaintiff Cullan Chisholm, Dr. Alison Ball and the Guysborough Antigonish Strait Health Authority have agreed to pay a total of $6 million in damages to Chisholm in what has been reported as the largest personal injury settlement in Nova Scotia’s legal history.

Represented by McKiggan Hebert’s John McKiggan, the case is significant because “it goes a long way to recognizing the very significant harm and huge associated costs that go with caring for a catastrophically injured child.”

“It’s fair to say that physicians, nurses are human. We all make mistakes,” John says. “But when someone makes a mistake that violates the standard of care — in other words when someone makes a mistake that was preventable — then they should be held accountable for that and that’s why we brought the claim.”

Posted in: Child Injuries

Can Children Suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress After a Car Accident?

by John McKiggan

According to a study conducted in Sweden the answer is most certainly yes!

Research conducted at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden determined that approximately 30% of children injured in car accidents end up suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Long lasting effects
3214264355_f6f01f76fe_m.jpg The research by Eva Olofsson went on to determine that up to 20% of children still suffer from the mental and psychosocial effects of PTSD up to a year post accident.

Psychological injuries last longer than physical injuries?

Do bicycle helmets prevent head injuries? The answer may not be as obvious as you think.

by John McKiggan

Protect your noggin

If you were given the option of being hit on the head with or without a helmet, which would you choose? Wearing a bicycle helmet reduces the risk of head injury by approximately 85-percent. The choice seems obvious doesn’t it?

If the choice is so clear then why do one-third of Nova Scotian’s still not wear helmets when cycling? According to Statistics Canada approximately 35% of Nova Scotia’s still refuse to wear bicycle helmets on a regular basis.

Hockey Canada insurance doesn’t cover concussions! Say what?

by John McKiggan

As a personal injury lawyer I have seen many examples of the dangers of brain injuries in sports. In particular I have written about the potential lasting effects that brain injuries can have on child athletes. See for example:

Sudden Impact: Liability for Sports Related Concussions

Brain Injuries: Minor Hockey Players 10x More Likely to Suffer Brain Injuries

“Who is responsible when my child is hurt at school?”

by John McKiggan

School Board not liable

A British Columbia school district recently benefitted from a favourable ruling in a case against a former student. In October 2006 the student, Tylor Jackson, was the victim of a terrible assault from another student, Makwalla Hall. The two boys were grade nine students at the time. Makwalla punched Tylor in the head, causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on a window. Tylor suffered from a traumatic brain injury and is permanently mentally and physically disadvantaged.

Should schools be responsible for schoolyard assaults?

Children’s Meds Causing Dangerous Allergic Reactions

by John McKiggan

Recently I was doing research for a client whose child had suffered an adverse reaction after taking a common children’s medication. That’s why this article in Reuters caught my attention.

It tells the story of a Massachusetts family that nearly lost their daughter due to an allergic reaction to a common household medicine. Seven year-old Samantha Reckis lost approximately 90 percent of her skin, suffered mild brain damage and is legally blind after taking children’s Motrin.

Following a decade-long trial, a Massachusetts jury has ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $63 million to Samantha and her family.

Pfizer Zoloft Birth Injury Claims – When is a risk too small to explain?

by John McKiggan

Last month 10 couples filed birth injury lawsuits against Pfizer, who manufactures the antidepressant Zoloft. They claim severe birth injuries suffered by their children are a consequence of the mom’s taking Zoloft during their pregnancy.

Failed to Warn of Risks

The argument is Pfizer failed to warn of the risks to unborn children, and further that Pfizer did not adequately test the product.

Trampolines and “Jumpy Castles”: It’s all fun and games until someone breaks a limb

by John McKiggan

Risk = Fun?

As a child safety lawyer I have come to realize that an inevitable paradox of childhood is that the riskier an activity, the more children are drawn to it. This phenomenon is best illustrated by the backyard trampoline and the birthday favourite, so-called “Jumpy Castles”.

These especially entertaining apparatuses occupy children (and adults) for hours but they pose a significant risk of injury, particularly to younger children.

New Advances in Concussion Testing Helps Protect Athletes

by John McKiggan

The hottest topic of conversation among my friends and neighbours the last two weeks has been their kids amateur hockey tryouts. The other day, I was contacted by a parent whose son suffered a serious concussion during a practice session.

Sport-induced concussions are serious business. As Sidney Crosby can testify, they can have long lasting effects, particularly if they are not diagnoses promptly and the athlete is returned to the game. As I have posted previously, there are a number of different mechanisms for diagnosing concussions: Brain Injury Claims: New Guidelines to Diagnose Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

An article posted by my colleagues at Slater Vecchio discusses a new baseline test for athletes before the season begins.