Blog Posts in September, 2005

  • The Pending Nursing Home Crisis

    Consider this all too familiar story. Texas resident Noe Martinez, Sr., lived with his son and daughter-in-law up until they could no longer care for him. He suffered from late stage Alzheimers and needed constant care. His son took him to the McAllen Nursing Center, where late one evening a nurse gave him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Mr. Martinez had no teeth, and without his dentures or ...
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  • Feds Look to Further Limit Victim's Rights

    In July, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill which limits the rights of patients injured by negligent doctors. The bill also limits the liability of drug companies and medical device manufacturers for putting dangerous products into the marketplace, and restricts actions against nursing homes and HMO’s. Earlier this year, Gov. Blagojevich signed into law a medical malpractice bill that ...
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  • Vioxx Verdict is Justice, Not a Jackpot

    A Texas jury of twelve men and women recently awarded $253 million to the widow of a man whose death was contributed to by Vioxx. The verdict is a victory for all consumers put at risk by drugs that are improperly tested, marketed and absent warnings. However, proponents of tort reform use the verdict as an example of “jackpot justice.” This is the idea that huge awards are handed out to unworthy ...
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  • Anti-Depressants and Suicide

    The FDA recently mandated that all manufacturers of a class of anti-depressant drugs called Selective Seratonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) to include warnings of suicide and suicide ideation on their labels. Well known SSRI’s include Paxil, Prozac, Zoloft, Wellbutrin and Effexor. Not only are these drugs linked to an increased suicide risk, but “off-label” use is widespread meaning that the ...
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  • Accutane Associated With Myriad of Side Effects

    Accutane (isotretinoin) is prescribed for serious acne in children and adults. It is estimated the 8-12 million people have been prescribed the medication in the United States alone. With that, more than 70,000 adverse events have been reported to the FDA. This number is staggering when considering that it is estimated that only 10% of all adverse events are actually reported. Studies link up the ...
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  • California AG Sues Potato Chip Makers

    The California Attorney General filed a lawsuit intending to force potato chip manufactures to warn consumers about potential carcinogens in their products. When starchy foods are cooked at high heat, as with potato chips and french fries, a chemical called acrylamide is released. The FDA released a statement in March that acrylamide “can cause cancer in laboratory animals at high doses, although ...
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  • Celebrex and Bextra MDL Assigned to California

    Last week the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation assigned all federal Celebrex and Bextra cases to the Northern District of California before the Honorable Charles R. Breyer. The MDL will handle all federal claims arising out of the use, marketing and sales of Celebrex and Bextra . Following in the footsteps of Vioxx, these other cox-2 inhibitors will be grouped together for resolution of ...
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  • Second Vioxx Trial Begins in New Jersey

    The jury is selected and opening statements have begun in the second Vioxx trial . The trial is in New Jersey state court, the first of nearly 2,500 cases pending there. The Plaintiff is Frederick “Mike” Humeston who suffered a heart attack after taking Vioxx for pain stemming from a Vietnam War wound. Just like the case in Texas, there are some difficulties with the case. Mr. Humeston suffered ...
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  • Always the Treatment, Never the Cure

    One of the biggest flaws with the current state of drug development and safety is the focus on treatments and not on cures. Drug companies spend billions in developing and attaining patent protection on drugs that are designed to treat illnesses, instead of illness prevention and disease cure. The reasoning is simple math. More money is to be made through pumping the public with treatments then to ...
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  • News Media Distorts View of Verdicts, Legal System

    $4.9 billion dollar verdict against General Motors. $144.8 billion against the tobacco industry in a Florida class action. $253 million to the widow of a man killed by Vioxx. The media loves to jump on these figures, resulting in plaintiff’s verdicts being considerably overrepresented. Consider the following cases: **Every major newspapaper in the country placed the 1999 $4.9 billion dollar ...
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  • Family Brings Lawsuit Against Maker of Soccer Goal

    A family from Vernon Hills, Illinois, recently settled a lawsuit brought as a result of the death of their six-year-old son crushed by a falling soccer goal. The tragedy occurred when the 400 pound soccer goal tipped over due to the goal being improperly anchored into the ground. The goal, without anchors, may tip over with a mere 22 pounds of pressure. As a testament to the ability of lawsuits to ...
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  • Bush Nominates John Roberts to Succeed Rehnquist

    Wasting little time, President Bush nominated John Roberts to replace Justice Rehnquist as the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Bush nominated John G. Roberts to the Court of Appeals for the District of Colombia in 2003, a court long known as a grooming area for future Supreme Court nominations. Bush initially nominated Roberts to fill the void left by Justice O’Conner’s resignation. However ...
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  • Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist Dies

    Chief Justice Rehnquist died on Saturday evening, succumbing to a long fight with thyroid cancer. Regardless of your views of some of his decisions , Justice Rehnquist was an oak on the court. In his 19 years as Chief Justice, he lead the court with efficiency and even-handedness, guiding the court through decisions like Bush v. Gore and leaving a legacy of leading a Court that may be the biggest ...
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  • Merck Considers Returning Vioxx to Marketplace

    In spite of the recent victory for Vioxx plaintiffs in Texas, Merck continues to flirt with the idea of returning Vioxx to the market. The FDA will only allow this if the drug’s use is limited and heavy warnings are added to its label. The problem is the real reason Merck may return the drug to the market is so that plaintiff’s attorney may not use the withdrawal of the drug from the market as ...
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