The FDA Wants Consumers to Report Problems with MedWatch

FDA Invites Consumers to Report Problems to MedWatch

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has enhanced its MedWatch program and is actively asking consumers to report adverse events and serious safety issues with regard to FDA regulated products, whether they be medications, medical devices, or food products. The FDA encourages strongly consumers to use the MedWatch platform, first created in 1993, to report experiences with problematic products that seem to have unexpected side effects, injurious medical errors, therapeutic failures, issues with product quality, and any other safety hazards. [Read more…]

Abilify Gambling Lawsuits Consolidated in Florida Federal Court

Abilify Gambling Lawsuits Consolidated in Florida Federal Court

The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has consolidated more than 20 lawsuits against Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. over claims of pathological gambling side effects in patients using the antipsychotic drug Abilify in federal court in Florida. The serious impulse-control problems described in the complaints reportedly stop when the medicine is discontinued. 22 actions pending in 12 districts will be centralized under Chief District Judge M. Casey Rodgers. [Read more…]

GM Auto Recall of 4.3 Million Vehicles Due to Airbag Software Defect

GM Auto Recall of 4.3 Million Vehicles Due to Airbag Software Defect

General Motors will voluntarily recall nearly 4.3 million vehicles worldwide due to an airbag software defect linked to at least one death and three injuries in the United States. The defect purportedly prevents the airbags from inflating in a car accident. The auto recall affects about 3.64 million vehicles in the U.S., including trucks, cars, and SUVs with the 2014-2017 model years. [Read more…]

Lieff Cabraser Announces Filing of Personal Injury Lawsuit Against Bristol-Myers Squibb and Otsuka Pharmaceutical for Damages Caused by Abilify Prescription Drug

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Gambling addiction lawsuit alleges claims including Strict Liability, Negligent Misrepresentation, and Fraudulent Concealment, and seeks damages for neuropsychiatric, mental, physical, and economic damages, as well as punitive damages

Lexi J. Hazam of the national plaintiffs’ law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announces that Rikki Carlson of Fall River, Massachusetts, has filed a personal injury lawsuit against Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., and Otsuka America Pharmaceutical, Inc. (“Defendants”) for damages suffered as a direct and proximate result of Defendants’ wrongful conduct in connection with the development, design, testing, labeling, packaging, promoting, advertising, marketing, distribution, and selling of the blockbuster prescription drug Abilify.

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Texas Law Leads to Reduction of $496 Million Hip Defect Judgment Against DePuy

Texas Law Forces Huge Cut in $496 Million Hip Defect Judgment Against DePuy

As reported by Law360 (subscription), U.S. District Court Judge Ed Kinkeade has reduced a $496 million judgment against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics in five combined Pinnacle implant hip injury bellwether trials to keep the amount in line with the Texas punitive damages cap. Attorneys in the case indicate the new overall amount assessed against DePuy for its allegedly defective and dangerous Pinnacle hip implants will be closer to $150 million. A jury in the consolidated trial in Dallas had found the companies liable for serious health problems, including bone erosion and metal poisoning, that plaintiffs claimed were directly related to the metal-on-metal hip implants. Judge Kinkeade lowered the $360 million punitive damages award by $350 million in the face of Texas’ statutory $10 million limit on punitive damages. [Read more…]

$127 Million Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

$127 Million Verdict Against Johnson & Johnson in Talcum Powder Lawsuits

New Jersey-based health care company Johnson & Johnson has lost two trials in St. Louis over claims its talcum baby powder product is linked to ovarian cancer. The verdicts total $127 million – $55 million was awarded to plaintiff Gloria Ristesund in May 2016 and $72 million to the estate of Jacqueline Fox in February. [Read more…]

Nationwide Ikea Furniture Recall: 29 Million Dressers Recalled after Six Children Killed

Ikea Furniture Recall: 29 Million Dressers Recalled after Six Children Killed

Swedish retailer Ikea is recalling 29 million chests and dressers in the United States and Canada after the death of six children linked to a severe furniture tip-over hazard when the pieces are not properly secured. All of the children killed were 3 years old or younger. [Read more…]

Second J&J DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trial Receives Nearly $500 Million Verdict

Second J&J DePuy Pinnacle Bellwether Trial Receives Nearly $500 Million Verdict

In the second multidistrict bellwether trial over allegedly defective DePuy Pinnacle hip implants, a Texas jury awarded a $497.6 million in a verdict against Johnson & Johnson. The five plaintiffs in the aggregate trial who sued over health problems from the metal hip implant devices received $360 million in punitive damages. [Read more…]

$1 Billion Settlement Approved in NFL Concussion Case

$1 Billion Settlement Approved in NFL Concussion Case

Last April, U.S. District Judge Anita Brody approved an uncapped settlement of nearly $1 billion in the NFL concussion class action lawsuit, where about 5,000 former professional football players sought damages for their suffering from concussions and head trauma linked to playing pro football. These repetitive head injuries could lead to a degenerative brain condition known as CTE. [Read more…]

Seven Bellwether Cases Selected for DePuy Hip Implant Trial Against Johnson & Johnson

Seven Bellwether Cases Selected for DePuy Hip Implant Trial Against Johnson & Johnson

U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade has selected seven DePuy hip injury bellwether cases to proceed to trial in the multidistrict injury litigation against Johnson & Johnson’s DePuy Orthopaedics Inc. unit. J&J had asked Judge Kinkeade to stay (pause) the cases pending J&J’s appeal of a previous $497.6 million injury-related verdict against the company, but he refused, slating the 7 bellwether cases to begin trials starting September 6, 2016. The other 8,800 cases in the MDL will be put on hold until all of the bellwether trials take place. [Read more…]

Complexity of Health Care System Contributes to Patient Deaths from Preventable Medical Errors

Complexity of Health Care System Contributes to Patient Deaths from Preventable Medical Errors

The British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports that nearly 250,000 Americans die every year as a result of medical mistakes in hospitals and other health care facilities — mistakes that are entirely preventable. Medical errors are now the third-leading cause of death in the U.S., after heart disease and cancer. In “The Real Cause of Deadly Medical Errors,” Ashish Jha outlines for Scientific American exactly what constitutes a medical error how this systemic failure results in wholly unnecessary suffering for patients. [Read more…]

Defective E-cigarette Vaporizers Are Exploding in People’s Faces

Defective E-cigarette Vaporizers Are Exploding in People’s Faces

Electronic cigarettes and vaping devices contribute to a $3.7 billion dollar annual industry, with sales expected to surpass traditional tobacco products within the next decade. As of 2015, there were more than 9 million adults regularly using e-cigarettes, as reported by a National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) conducted by the CDC. The study noted that nearly 1 in 8 (12.6%) of adults in the U.S. have tried an e-cigarette, and the percentage is even higher among individuals aged 18-24. Men are also more likely than women to have tried an e-cigarette. [Read more…]

Health Inspectors Declare “Immediate Jeopardy” Endoscope Safety Violations at Los Angeles Hospitals

Superbug Infection Lawsuits and Dangers

On March 4, 2015, state health inspectors declared a rare “immediate jeopardy” ruling for certain medical scopes at Los Angeles’ UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, which according to the inspectors put patients at risk by violating multiple safety standards. Inspectors discovered “staff using contaminated water and a tainted liquid cleaner dispenser being used to ready colonoscopes and other devices for the next patients,” as reported by the Los Angeles Times. Twenty-one days later, inspectors raised another immediate jeopardy notification again, this time for LA’s Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. [Read more…]

Medical Errors Estimated to be Third Leading Cause of Death in United States

Medical Errors Estimated to be Third Leading Cause of Death in United States

There are 251,454 deaths as a result of medical malpractice every year – this equates to nearly 700 deaths a day and makes up 9.5% of annual deaths in the U.S. According to Johns Hopkins University researchers, it is estimated that medical errors are now the third leading cause of death in the nation, following heart disease and cancer. Preventable medical errors in hospitals and other health care facilities claim the lives of Americans more than respiratory disease, accidents, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes. [Read more…]

Court Upholds Uncapped Settlement Between Players and the NFL Over Head Injuries

Court Upholds Uncapped Settlement Between Players and the NFL Over Head Injuries

The Third Circuit has unanimously affirmed an uncapped settlement between a group of former professional football players and the National Football League (NFL) over concussions and subsequent long term health effects from multiple head injuries to some players. [Read more…]

Buffalo Bills’ AJ Tarpley Announces Retirement Because of NFL Concussions, Risks

Football NFL Repetitive Concussion Brain Injury Lawsuits

Numerous news outlets, including ESPN, NBC, and the Buffalo News are reporting that second-year Buffalo Bills linebacker AJ Tarpley has announced his retirement from football because of heightened concerns about the health risks of playing NFL football relating to concussion injuries. Tarpley’s statement noted that he’d suffered the third and fourth concussions of his career last year. The risks of continuing to play the sport he loves are seen as outweighing any satisfactions from the game, both personal and financial. [Read more…]

Major Flaw Uncovered in NFL’s Concussion Injury Reports

Major Flaw Uncovered in NFL's Concussion Injury Reports

In 2013, the National Football League (NFL) agreed to pay $765 million to settle a lawsuit based on claims from more than 4,500 retired athletes and their families that League officials concealed the serious risks of dangerous head injuries from playing the aggressive sport. As reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year nationwide.

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Florida Supreme Court Rules Injured Smokers Can Seek Punitive Damages

Florida Supreme Court Rules Injured Smokers Can Seek Punitive Damages

The Florida Supreme Court ruled this week that the widow of a smoker who died of lung cancer can seek punitive damages against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., marking a significant win for injured smokers and families of deceased smokers who have been fighting cigarette companies in Florida courts over the past 20 years.

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