Blog Posts in January, 2006

  • The First Years Teething Rings Recall

    The First Years, a subsidiary of RC2 Corporation, is voluntarily recalling liquid-filled teethers due to possible bacterial contamination. The liquid inside the teethers may contain pseudomonas aeruginosa and pseudomonas putida which can cause serious illness in children if the teether is punctured and the liquid from the teether is ingested. Consumers should stop using the recalled products ...
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  • Anti-Depressant Paxil Linked to Birth Defects

    The FDA released a public health advisory last month for women taking Paxil while pregnant. The advisory came in the wake of multiple studies indicating a 2 fold increase in the risk for heart malformations in the fetus. The heart malformations include holes in the walls of the heart that range in severity from requiring surgery to life-long monitoring. This warning is added to the long list of ...
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  • Guidant Knew of Defibrillator Problems Long Before Recall

    Guidant knew of serious problems with particular defibrillators that would short circuit and fail to perform its function as early as February 2002, yet the company continued to sell the defective defibrillators. Guidant also continued to keep information about the defective devices from doctors and the public. After nearly ten months, Guidant modified the design and made additional changes to the ...
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  • Fourth Vioxx Trial Gets Underway

    The fourth Vioxx trial began today in a Starr County Texas state court. The case involves the late Loenel Garza, a 71 year old man who died of a massive heart attack in 2001. Mr. Garza took samples of Vioxx for about a month before the heart attack, and was told after a stress test shortly before his death that he had a 2% chance of dying from a heart attack. To further bolster the plaintiff’s ...
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  • Comment on the Recent Jose Padilla Case

    A little of topic for this blog, but some important information regarding the recent news about the Jose Padilla case. As you may know, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit recently handed down a decision denying the U.S. Government’s motion to transfer Jose Padilla from the military tribunal (where he has been held without charge or indictment for 3 1/2 years) to a US ...
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  • More Price Gouging By Insurance Companies

    While the insurance industry spends millions of dollars lobbying Congress for limits on compensation for malpractice victims, a new study shows the industry has consistently overstated its payouts by billions of dollars. The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) examined the official filings that malpractice insurers submit to state insurance commissioners and found that over a 9-year ...
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  • Documents Indicate Guidant Covered Up Defibrillator Problems

    Six months before the Guidant Corporation publicly disclosed short circuits in its heart devices, a debate may have been going on within the company over whether to alert doctors about such failures, internal company documents released yesterday suggest. The documents appear to indicate that some Guidant executives recommended in January 2005 that the company find a way to tell doctors about the ...
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  • Cook County Judge Responds to Tribune’s Attack on Justice

    In response to a Chicago Tribune editorial regarding Cook County being a judicial hellhole, Judge William D. Maddux, Presiding Judge, Law Division, Circuit Court of Cook County, sent the following letter (below and attached) to the Tribune. The Tribune NEVER PRINTED the letter. RESPONSE TO CHICAGO TRIBUNE EDITORIAL DECEMBER 15, 2005 Responsive to your editorial of December 13, 2005, wherein the ...
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  • Highway Safety Agency Rolls Over for Auto Industry

    Gary Skinner of Graysville, Alabama was an avid fisherman with a love for music, says his wife Angela. But on July 28, 2005, Angela lost her 48-year-old husband in a rollover accident when his 1999 Ford Ranger blew a tire, causing Gary to lose control of the vehicle. As Gary’s car rolled over, the roof crushed in on him, causing a fatal head injury. Now public internal documents show that the auto ...
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  • Doctors Copy Big Tobacco in Tactics for Tort Reform Fight

    Galvanized by soaring malpractice insurance costs, Illinois physicians led the charge for the landmark tort reform law the General Assembly passed last year. But they followed a road map charted a decade earlier by an unlikely ally — cigarette giant Philip Morris, according to a company memo entitled the “1995 Tort Reform Project.” In pushing for tighter product liability laws, the memo’s author ...
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  • Nursing Home Inspections Miss Violations

    State inspectors often overlook serious deficiencies, including life-threatening conditions, in the nation’s nursing homes, Congressional investigators say in a new report. In the report, the investigators, from the Government Accountability Office, questioned data used by the Bush administration in arguing that its policies have fostered “significant improvements” in the nation’s nursing homes. ...
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  • D.C. Medical Society Understates Number of Practicing Obstetricians

    A recent survey performed by Public Citizen reveals that the D.C. Medical Society has grossly understated the number of obstetricians practicing in the Washington D.C. area. The new survey was prompted the Society’s cry for tort reform due to the exodus of doctors. Much like reformists across the country, the Society demanded legislation that punishes victims to curb doctors fleeing the state to ...
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  • Ex-Cons Get Break in Nursing Homes

    A newly enacted law to protect nursing home residents from sex offenders and other ex-cons is being watered down due to industry cries that it is too costly. The Vulnerable Adults Protection Act requires that a criminal background check be performed on nursing home residents to keep sex offenders out of nursing homes or away from other residents within the nursing home. The proposed changes, ...
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  • As Doctor’s Insurance Rates Go Up, So Do Perks For Insurance Executives

    As more information is made public during the hearings for ISMIE, the state’s largest medical malpractice insurer, the lengths to which the insurer will go to mask the reasons for skyrocketing malpractice rates become clear. ISMIE is currently before the Illinois Department of Insurance in an effort to increase their rates, only allowable with the Department’s permission under the new medical ...
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