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Honolulu Hawaii Sexual Abuse Law Blog

Rideshare companies make changes to user policies

Hawaii residents who use Uber or Lyft can take sexual harassment or assault complaints to court instead of to arbitration. The two companies are taking forced arbitration clauses off their user agreements, and Uber says that this is being done for the sake of transparency. It also said that the change will apply to drivers and other employees as well as riders.

Lyft said in a statement that it agreed with the changes that Uber had made and decided to follow its lead. Changes made to its user agreement will also apply to employees and drivers in addition to passengers. Forced arbitration has become a major issue throughout the nation as the Me Too movement has gained prominence. While both Lyft and Uber have had complaints about sexual harassment, Uber's issues have been more pronounced.

Mobile apps could improve diagnostic accuracy

Mobile health applications may help Hawaii doctors make more accurate medical diagnoses, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association. The study was conducted by researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to the authors of the study, physician-focused apps are becoming more common in the health care industry, but no research had been done to determine their effectiveness. To address the problem, researchers developed a method to evaluate the CDC's PTT Advisor app, which is designed to help doctors make better diagnostic and testing decisions when assessing patients for bleeding and coagulation disorders.

Nurse practitioners and medical malpractice

One of the many types of healthcare professionals in Hawaii and the rest of the country who can be sued for malpractice is the nurse practitioner. Any failure of a nurse practitioner to remain within their scope of practice results in liability. However, doctors can take certain steps to limit the number of malpractice claims filed against the nurse practitioners who work in their practice.

According to a study conducted by the largest doctor-owned medical malpractice insurance company in the nation, nurse practitioners face almost the same type of liability risks as primary care physicians. The study was based on the review of nearly 1,500 claims that had been filed from 2011 to 2016 against nurse practitioners as well as internal medicine and family medicine physicians. The desire to determine if nurse practitioners have special risk management concerns was spurred by the realization that they are expected to account for almost 33 percent of the family practice workforce within the next decade.

5 warning signs that a child has experienced sexual abuse

As parents, we want to do everything in our power to protect our children from the dangers in today's society. But sometimes, it can be very difficult to see when something is even wrong - let alone find out what happened to cause it.

This is especially true when children experience sexual harassment or abuse. Today's youth typically hide their emotions and the truth from adults, but as a parent there are a number of signs that may give you a hint that your child has been hurt.

425,000 smoke detectors recalled for manufacturing defect

Hawaii homeowners and apartment renters may be interested to learn that, on March 22, it was reported that United Technologies Corporation UTX issued a recall for 425,000 Kidde smoke alarms. The company said that there were manufacturing defects that could cause the alarm to fail to alert owners of a fire.

The company said that a yellow cap may have been left on the devices during the manufacturing process. The cap could cover one of the sensors inside the device, preventing it from being able to detect smoke. Those with the affected models are recommended to take the device down and see if there is a yellow cap inside by looking through the side opening. If a yellow cap is visible, they are recommended to contact the manufacturer and should not attempt to open the detector themselves.

Recognizing the signs and symptoms of sexual abuse in children

Despite efforts to raise awareness and curtail the problem, child abuse still happens with disturbing frequency. Annually state and protective services receive a staggering 3.4 million referrals for abused or neglected children.

Statistics say one in five girls and one in eight boys will experience abuse in some form by age 18. Most abuse happens at the hand of someone the child knows and trusts. Educate yourself and your child about unsafe people and situations, but learn to recognize signs of abuse.

Misdiagnosis major concern in malpractice cases

Misdiagnosis and medical mistakes may be some of the most concerning thoughts for people in Hawai'i when they enter the hospital. In fact, the largest single source of medical malpractice claims filed throughout the United States are diagnostic errors, according to study of claims between 2013 and 2017. Produced by a malpractice insurer, the report noted that 33 percent of claims filed were about mistakes made when diagnosing the patient, including failure to diagnose serious illnesses or misdiagnosis of an existing illness.

The report said that of those claims, around half involved poor medical decision-making on the part of the doctors involved. The other most common causes of malpractice claims were those about surgeries or procedures, at 24 percent, and those about medical management, at 14 percent of all claims. Other causes for malpractice claims have declined over the years, but claims based on diagnostic errors have remained steady.

What duty does a school have to protect its children from abuse?

Kamehameha School is one of the most prestigious K-12 schools in Hawaii. It has a proud legacy of serving underprivileged children of Hawaiian descent since 1887.

However, the #metoo movement has sparked a new lawsuit against the school, which sheds light on its shameful past. Between 1958 and 1985, Dr. Robert Browne was employed at Kamehameha School as a child psychiatrist. The lawsuit—which has been brought by 32 men who were former students at the school—claims that they were subject to repeated sexual, emotional and psychological abuse by Browne.

How deep is the damage caused by molestation?

We see it these days in every headline, every newscast. Someone comes forward claiming to have been improperly touched by a boss, a spouse, a family member, a teacher, a coach, a colleague, a date.

It’s a remarkable upheaval, considering how silent our culture was on this subject until just a few months ago.

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