FDA Still Not Regulating E-Cigarettes

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Electronic cigarettes, battery-powered devices that convert a solution of nicotine and other chemicals into a vapor that can be inhaled, or “vaped,” have the potential to wean a vast number of smokers off cigarettes. No burned tobacco leaves, no cancer-causing tar: a seemingly public health revolution in waiting. Right?  Um, not so fast. There’s the inaccurate inaccurate labeling, shoddy counterfeits and …

Actos Caused Consumer’s Bladder Cancer, Philly Jury Hears

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A Philadelphia jury heard opening arguments on Wednesday in a case against Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., the latest in a string of suits against the drugmaker, alleging that a retired high-school teacher developed bladder cancer after taking the diabetes drug Actos. Miller Firm LLC attorney Michael Miller told the jury that warnings issued beginning in June 2011 about the risks associated …

Top 10 Takeaways on the Dangers of Indoor Tanning

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The New York Times published a article today entitled, “Warning: That Tan Could Be Hazardous.” To summarize, the article makes the case that indoor tanning is a “serious public health concern.”  Here are the Top 10 Takeways from the article: According to a recent study by researchers at the University of Miami, there are more indoor tanning salons in Florida …

60 Mesh Cases to Head to Trial

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After a California court of appeals upheld a $5.5 million mesh verdict against C.R. Bard in November, the U.S District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia designated 60 vaginal mesh cases as “Miniwave 1” cases. These 60 cases will be tried in federal district courts around the country.  After the Southern District of West Virginia Court’s order, these 60 …

Texas Legislature to Consider Banning E-Cigarette Sales to Minors

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From The Houston Chronicle: Legislators in Texas, one of just nine states that permit the sale of e-cigarettes to minors, will consider banning such sales amid concerns about growing use of the “safer” alternative to smoking among youth. Even as the Texas Medical Association and Texas Public Health Coalition plan to lobby the 2015 Legislature to regulate e-cigarettes, three bills …

Survey Finds Teens Trending Toward E-cigarettes

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More teens are trying out e-cigarettes than the real thing, according to the government’s annual drug use survey. Researchers were surprised at how many 8th, 10th and 12th graders reported using electronic cigarettes this year, even as regular smoking by teens dropped to new lows. Nearly 9 percent of 8th graders said they had used an e-cigarette in the previous …

CDC Reports Tanning Bed Injuries Nearly 2,000 in 2012

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Enter an indoor tanning booth today and you may find yourself with skin cancer decades down the road. But some painful consequences could be immediate. An estimated 1,957 indoor tanners landed in U.S. emergency rooms in 2012 after burning their skin or eyes, fainting or suffering other injuries, researchers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Monday. …

NFL & NCAA Need to Bear Responsibility for Sports Concussions

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As the College Football Playoff Committee caused a stir this weekend with its somewhat controversial picks of the teams that will be a part of the new College Football Playoff, last week we were somberly reminded, once again, of the physical toll that football-related concussions can take on players. Last Sunday, Ohio State football player Kosta Karageorge, who was missing for …

Drug Can Repair Spinal Cord Injuries, Study Shows

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The study on rats, published in the journal Nature, showed some degree of movement and bladder control could be restored.  The drug works by disrupting the “sticky glue” that prevents nerve cells from growing during an injury.  Further tests still need to take place, but the charity Spinal Research said “real progress” was being made. Damage to the spinal cord …

Back-to-Back Transvaginal Mesh Trial Losses Put Pressure on Boston Scientific

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Boston Scientific Corp’s back-to-back losses in the first two federal trials over its transvaginal mesh devices could drive up the cost of resolving thousands of similar lawsuits, according to legal experts. On November 20th, a jury in West Virginia awarded four women $18.5 million for injuries they said were caused by the Massachusetts-based company’s Obtryx device for stress urinary incontinence, …

Eli Lilly, Takeda Win Dismissal Of Ark. Taxpayer Actos Suit

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A Louisiana federal judge on Thursday threw out a proposed class action alleging that Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. ripped off taxpayers by hiding the risks of their diabetes drug Actos, after the Arkansas Supreme Court ruled the drug was properly prescribed by doctors. In a two-page order granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss for failure to …

Bard Can’t Avoid Its Part Of Pelvic Mesh Verdict

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  A California appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a $5.5 million verdict against C.R. Bard Inc. and a gynecologist that found the two responsible for a woman’s injuries from a vaginal mesh implant in the first such case to go to trial. The panel rejected Bard’s argument that the negligence theories submitted to the jury were erroneous, finding instead that …

Takeda Ordered to Pay for Destroying Actos Files

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Bloomberg is reporting that Takeda Pharmaceutical was ordered by a jury to pay $155,000 over its destruction of documents about its Actos diabetes medicine after the panel concluded the missing files blocked a man from proving his claims that the drug caused his cancer. Jurors in state court in Martinsburg, West Virginia, deliberated about three hours today before concluding Takeda …

Mesh Verdict for Florida Plaintiffs Could Force Boston Scientific into Global Settlement

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As our blog reported last week regarding Boston Scientific’s vaginal mesh trial in Miami, Florida, the verdict is in and in favor of the plaintiffs. Boston Scientific must pay $26.7 million to a group of four women who blamed the company’s vaginal inserts for injuring them, a jury concluded in the first federal trial of claims over the devices. Jurors …

Crumb Rubber Synthetic Turfs Possibly Toxic for Players

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Various news outlets have reported on the dangers of the crumb rubber infill turf including NBC NEWS and the website THE POSTGAME. Recently, a few famous athletes including Abby Wambach, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant voiced their opinions against synthetic turf fields. The issue is certainly significant as artificial turf fields are now everywhere in the United States, from high …

Mesh Litigation Update: Boston Scientific on Trial in Miami, Florida

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It will be up to the 9 person jury to decide, by the preponderance of the evidence, whether the Pinnacle Pelvic Floor Repair mesh kit, made by Boston Scientific, was defectively designed and whether the company failed to warn doctors through the product directions for use. The women claim negligence, defective product, a failure to warn, a breach of express …

The Health Claims Of E-Cigarettes Are Going Up In Smoke

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The sales pitch of electronic cigarette manufacturers seemed too good to be true. Could nicotine addicts around the world really get their fix whilst dodging the health risks of puffing away on cancer sticks? Sadly for smokers and “vapers,” the answer is far from clear. New evidence has emerged which suggests that E-Cigarettes can be dangerous too – in some …

It’s Easy to Overdose on Tylenol, Study Warns

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The rise in prescriptions and non-prescription use of painkillers in the U.S. is no secret – in the past decade, prescriptions for opioids have skyrocketed by 300%, making them the most prescribed drugs in the country. And the consequences of that spike can be deadly, according to the latest report from Consumer Reports: nearly 17,000 people die each year from …

Stryker Agrees to Pay in Settlement for Hip Implant Suits

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Stryker Corp. agreed to pay more than $1 billion to resolve lawsuits over thousands of hip implants recalled in 2012 after patients complained of pain, swelling and metal debris from the devices. Stryker will pay a base amount of $300,000 per case to patients who had the devices surgically removed, Kim Catullo, one of the company’s lawyers, told a New …

J&J considering Settling Defective Hip Suit

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Johnson & Johnson may pay more than $250 million to resolve suits over its ASR hip implants that were excluded from a $2.5 billion settlement of similar claims last year over the device’s failure, two people familiar with the accord said. J&J, the world’s largest seller of health-care products, is weighing whether to settle more than 1,000 lawsuits over removals …

Actos Update: Takeda Lowers Punitive Damages Penalty

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. won a more than a 99 percent cut in a $9 billion punitive damages award over claims the drugmakers hid the cancer risks of their Actos diabetes medicine. Jurors properly found officials of Osaka, Japan-based Takeda and Indianapolis-based Lilly intentionally hid the health risks of the drug and should pay punitive damages, …

Boston Scientific Puts Aside Funds to Pay for Legal Expenses

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Facing ongoing lawsuits over mesh products used to treat urinary incontinence, its 2006 acquisition of Guidant Corp., and tax issues with the IRS, Boston Scientific has now set aside nearly $1 billion to pay legal expenses. The Marlborough-based medical device company increased its litigation reserves by $139 million over the course of the three months that ended in September to …

First Actos Bladder Cancer Suit In W.Va. Goes To Trial

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The first trial in West Virginia state court over allegations that Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.’s widely prescribed diabetes drug Actos causes bladder cancer begins today, featuring the same plaintiffs firm that has taken Actos cases to trial in four other states and secured three pro-plaintiff verdicts. The West Virginia trial comes shortly after the Miller Firm LLC secured a $2 …

Update: Takeda Ordered to Pay Actos User After Verdict is Reached

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As mentioned in previous blog posts, we continue to follow the Actos bellwether trials as they occur across the country.  The latest Actos verdict occurred in Philadelphia, PA. in favor of the injured plaintiff. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. was ordered by a jury to pay more than $2 million to a woman who claimed the company’s Actos diabetes medicine caused her bladder …

Takeda Accused of Putting Actos Profit Ahead of Safety

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. was accused by a lawyer for a woman who blames Actos for her cancer of sacrificing safety for profit by failing to warn patients and doctors about the diabetes medicine’s risks. Executives at Osaka, Japan-based Takeda knew by 2004 that studies found links between Actos and cancer, and didn’t issue a warning until seven years later to …

Endo to Settle Legal Claims Concerning Vaginal Mesh Products

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Endo International PLC said it reached agreements to settle substantially all of the claims concerning vaginal mesh products sold by its American Medical Systems Holding Inc. unit. The drug and medical-device company said the agreements aren’t an admission of liability or fault. In April, Endo said it would pay about $830 million before taxes to settle a “substantial majority” of …

Good News: Takeda Hid Actos Bladder Cancer Risks, Philly Jury Hears

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  An expert witness testifying on behalf of a woman who claims she developed bladder cancer after taking the diabetes drug Actos told a Philadelphia jury on Thursday that Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. had worked to suppress information about the cancer risks associated with the medication. Randall Tackett, a pharmacologist and toxicologist at the University of Georgia tapped to testify …

AAA Study Says 3 of 4 Kids’ Seats Are Installed Wrong

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How safe is YOUR child’s safety seat? According to a new AAA survey, chances are it is not as safe as you thought. “Three out of four car seats today are installed incorrectly,” said Michele Harris, director of traffic safety culture, AAA – The Auto Club Group. “Too often, we see kids who are in a car seat that’s installed …

5 Ways Tech Improves Car Safety

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 DETROIT – Cellphones that warn drivers when people are crossing in front of them. Bicycles and cars that communicate with traffic lights. Sensors in cars that quickly alert other drivers to black ice, potholes or other hazards. A low-priced camera system that brings high-tech automatic braking to the masses. These life- or time-saving technologies are being shown off this week …

Boston Scientific Hit With Verdict In 1st Pelvic Mesh Loss

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A Texas state jury blasted Boston Scientific Corp. with a $73.4 million verdict on Monday, finding that the company’s Obtryx-brand transvaginal sling was defectively designed and caused severe injuries, marking the first time the company has not prevailed in litigation over its pelvic mesh products. A spokeswoman from the law firm Freese & Goss, which represented plaintiff Martha Salazar, confirmed …

Houston: Booming Economy But So Are Workplace Injuries

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We may have a bustling economy in Texas, but is our city and state a safe place to work? According to new data released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the answer is a resounding “NO”. According to OSHA, Houston has the worst record in Texas, and Texas the worst in the country when it comes to workplace …

J&J Federal Trial on Pelvic Mesh Devices Begins in West Virginia

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Johnson and Johnson (JNJ), and its subsidiary, Ethicon, Inc., are going on trial this week in the US District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, facing charges that one of its pelvic mesh devices, the TVT-O, was defective and that the company was negligent and fraudulent in its representation of the product. We Are Mesh Survivors, a coalition …

Judge Plans To Speed Up Vaginal Mesh Lawsuits, Trials

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As the number of vaginal mesh lawsuits filed throughout the federal court system continues to increase, with many of the manufacturers of these controversial products making little progress toward settling the claims, the U.S. District Judge presiding over the litigation indicates that he will prepare a large number of cases to be “expeditiously set for trial.” U.S. District Judge Joseph …

FDA Doesn’t Man Up: Fails to Recall Vagina Mesh

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has rejected a request from advocacy group Public Citizen to order recalls of existing surgical mesh products and ban their future sale, according to a letter released Monday that said a recent proposal to more rigorously review the devices is sufficient for now. In its response to a 2011 petition from Public Citizen, the …

Top Product Liability Verdicts Of 2014

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The first half of 2014 produced at least five product liability verdicts topping $100 million, underscoring not only the ongoing vigor of long-running asbestos disputes, but the impact that an acrimonious discovery dispute can have on verdict size, as it did with the $6 billion award against Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. Ltd. Here is a list of all the product liability …

Testosterone Use Doesn’t Increase Heart Risk, Study Finds

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A study of 24,000 Medicare patients found that testosterone therapy didn’t increase the risk of heart attack, contrary to several earlier studies, and that it even lowered the risk of heart attack by about 30% in the group of men judged most likely to have one based on other factors. The findings are a boost for proponents of testosterone therapy, …

SCOTUS Wants SG’s to Take On Generic-Drug Maker Liability

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday asked the solicitor general to weigh in on Teva Pharmaceutical USA Inc.’s challenge to a California appeals court finding that the generic-drug maker can be held liable for injuries because it did not immediately update its warning label to match the brand-name equivalent version. In June 2013 the California appeals panel gave the go …

Takeda, Lilly Say Prejudice Infected $9B Actos Verdict

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. and Eli Lilly & Co. argued Friday that the sheer size of the $9 billion punitive damages award they suffered in the bellwether personal injury trial over the diabetes drug Actos demonstrates the jury was inflamed by “passion and prejudice,” saying its verdict should be overturned. Reported as the seventh-largest punitive damages award in U.S. history, the April …

Burned in Federal Court, Takeda Hopes to Find Solace in State Courts Over Actos Drug

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Word to the Wise: Plaintiffs should avoid state courts when suing Takeda over their diabetes drug Actos.  Why? Because Takeda has been slammed with a $6 billion verdict and disciplined for destroying key evidence in federal court over Actos, but the drugmaker has found success in state courts by convincing juries that it adequately warned of the drug’s bladder cancer …