Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

Blog Posts in July, 2005

  • Coroner in Vioxx Case Allowed to Testify

    A Texas state court of appeals ruled in favor of the plaintiffs last week in the first Vioxx trial in the nation. The interlocutory appeal (an appeal taken before the end of a trial) was filed last week in an attempt to prevent testimony from going to the jury from the coroner who performed the autopsy. The Coroner, Dr. Araneta , did not mention any blood clots in the autopsy report or death ...
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  • Study Shows Non-Profit Nursing Homes Offer Better Care

    A recent study performed by the University of Toronto indicates that non-profit nursing homes in the United States offer better care than for-profit homes. The study considered 40 cases comparing non and for-profit nursing homes between 1993 and 2002. The study showed that residents in for-profit nursing homes had higher rates of development of pressure ulcers, were subjected to greater use of ...
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  • Millions of Ford Vehicles at Risk for Fire

    A recent investigation by CNN reveals that millions of Ford vehicles have a faulty switch that may ignite causing a fire . The switch is designed to turn the cruise control off when the driver presses the brake. Ford has already recalled 2 million automobiles to replace the part, but the recent document uncovered by CNN indicates that the part is found in over 16 million cars and trucks. The ...
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  • Jury Awards Louisiana Women $2 Million Against Health Insurer

    A Louisiana jury awarded Ms. Christiane Hymel $2 million against Blue Cross Blue Shield for causing the delay in discovery of a spinal tumor. Ms. Hymel presented to her doctors complaining of back pain. Her doctors recommended a MRI, but BCBS refused to pay for it. Subsequently, the MRI was delayed by four months as Ms. Hymel raised the money to pay for the MRI on her own. As a result in the delay ...
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  • Victory for Malpractice Victims in Wisconsin

    On July 14, 2005, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin found caps on non-economic damages in medical malpractice awards unconstitutional. The Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the cap is “unreasonable and arbitrary” because there is no “rational” relationship between it and lower medical malpractice premiums. It also violates equal protection provisions in the Wisconsin Constitution, the court ruled. ...
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  • Safety Warnings Regarding Duragesic Skin Patches

    The FDA recently released a warning to patient and caregivers regarding the use of the Duragesic patch for pain control. Deaths and overdoses have occurred with Duragesic and the generic form of the drug. The complete warning may be found here .
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  • So Crazy it Just Might Work

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explains how anesthesiologists have kept their malpractice rates low. Their radical theory? Less harm to patients would mean fewer lawsuits. As shown in the chart below, anesthesiologists malpractice rates have actually decreased over the last 20 years. Instead of pushing for laws that would protect them from potential lawsuits, anesthesiologists have ...
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  • Kansas City Doctors Sue Insurance Companies for Fraud and Extortion

    A group of about 2000 Missouri physicians filed several class action lawsuits alleging that insurance providers engaged in extortion, fraud and collusion. According to the lawsuit, insurance companies are conspiring together with elaborate schemes making it difficult for patients to get needed care. The course of treatment for a patient is essentially decided by bean-counters at the insurance ...
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  • FDA Places Warnings on Viagra, Cialis, Levitra

    The FDA recently asked the makers of the most popular erectile dysfunction drugs to add label warnings for sudden vision loss. The blindess associated with these drugs is caused by non-arteritic ischemic optic neuropathy or NAION. This warning comes in the wake of recent problems with Viagra . The warning is to be placed on Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra.
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  • Medical Errors Leading Cause of Death

    According to the Institute of Medicine, preventable medical errors account for nearly 100,000 deaths every year. By contrast, motor vehicle accidents cause about 46,000 deaths yearly. At the same time, road blocks to improving the system are being put up by the medical industry and the federal government. At the same time, Congress and the White House (not to mention the medical industry) are ...
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  • Insurance Industry Under Investigation

    The accounting scandal at American International Group, Inc., has paved the way for other FBI investigations into the insurance industry. AIG is under investigation by the New York attorney general, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Justice Department. AIG is accused of using complex insurance products and offshore affiliates to artificially enhance its financial results and ...
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  • FDA Warns of Suicide Risk with Common Antidepressants

    FDA recently released a warning for antidepressants such as Effexor , Paxil and Zoloft. The warning is for suicidality, especially with adults taking these drugs for depression. These drugs received a similar warning for use in children in March of 2005. We are currently accepting cases of birth injuries in children born to mothers who took these types of antidepressants.
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  • Merck Threatened Scientists Critical of Negative Vioxx Studies

    Documents recently surfaced in the media that indicate Merck took great efforts to silence those scientist who spoke of the cardiovascular risk of Vioxx . An excerpt of a Merck intercompany email indicates that pressures were put on scientists who were critical of Vioxx. The November 7, 2000, email from Merck’s medical director goes as follows: Tell [Dr. Gurkirpal] Singh that we’ve told his boss ...
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  • More Trouble for Guidant Defibrillators

    The FDA classified the 11 models of defibrillators recently recalled.
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