Crumb Rubber Fields – An Emerging Mass Tort?

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Bloomberg News recently interviewed my law partner Doug Daniels and I for an article entitled “Playing Fields and Cancer – An Emerging Mass Tort?”  The article examines whether crumb rubber synthetic playing fields could be the next mass tort considering the effects these fields have on public health and the environment.  The chances are good these fields become vulnerable to litigation, …

Johnson & Johnson Ordered to Pay $55 Million in Talcum Powder Trial

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Johnson & Johnson was ordered by a U.S. jury on Monday to pay $55 million to a woman who said that using the company’s talc-powder products for feminine hygiene caused her to develop ovarian cancer. The verdict, which J&J plans to appeal, was the second straight trial loss for the company, which is facing about 1,200 lawsuits accusing it of not …

Federal Judge Stengel Finds for Plaintiff on Evidentiary Issues in Tylenol Liver Damage Action

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A Pennsylvania judge has issued a number of evidentiary findings in favor of the plaintiff in a bellwether Tylenol liver damage case, ruling in part that the plaintiff may present evidence of adverse event reports, fraud on the FDA, employee compensation, and other lawsuits. In an April 19 order, Judge Lawrence Stengel of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern …

Health Concerns Over Crumb Rubber Fields Have Schools Worried

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Crumb Rubber fields continue to be newsworthy as the following article demonstrates.  It appeared in the Chicago-Tribune on April 14, 2016.  It is curious that Field Turf, one of the largest manufacturers and proponents of Crumb Rubber fields, no longer installs Crumb Rubber.  The question is why.  What does Field Turf know or suspect that the public at large does …

Fresenius Settles All Granuflo Claims for $250 Million

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Fresenius Medical Care agrees to pay $250 million to resolve U.S. litigation related to its GranuFlo and NaturaLyte products. Under the terms of the agreement, 97% of the plaintiffs must agree to the settlement by July 2016 to receive funding in August 2016. Insurers will pay $220M (88%) of the total settlement amount.The company intends to record a $60M charge …

3 Federal Agencies Officially Begin Researching the Danger of Crumb Rubber Fields

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  Finally the government is getting involved in researching crumb rubber fields.  NBC News reports, “Three federal agencies are teaming up to investigate the safety of crumb rubber artificial turf used in playing fields and playground all across the country.” “The Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced an ‘action plan’ on …

Harvard Study Suggests Link Between E-Cigarettes and Lung Disease

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E-cigarettes are coming.  Some say they are already here.  Especially if you visit an average high school parking lot after school. USA Today article on E-Cigarettes states how flavored e-cigarettes may seem like an alternative to smoking, but researchers warn that flavored e-cigarettes may not be worth the unknown long-term risks. Researchers at the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of …

VOLKSWAGEN UPDATE: MORE CARS MAY BE AFFECTED

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The New York Times and other media outlets are reporting that more Volkswagen cars than originally thought may be affected with the cheating emissions software. Originally, only cars and light commercial vehicles equipped with a diesel motor line known as the EA 189 had the illegal software.  However, Volkswagen said it was investigating whether some versions of another diesel motor …

HEALTH ALERT: Herbal Supplements Send Over 20,000 People Annually to the ER

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Herbal supplements of all kinds continue to be in the news and not in a good way. Today, The New York Times is reporting that a new government study reveals how dietary supplements lead to more than 20,000 ER visits annually and often involved young people seeking weight loss and energy improvement. The new study was published in The New …

UPDATE: Actos Settlement Reportedly Hits 97% Threshold

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Enough claimants have signed on to trigger a $2.4 billion payment from Takeda Pharmaceuticals to settle a large dose of the litigation pending against the drugmaker over the alleged negative effects of its Actos diabetes drug, lawyers for thousands of the plaintiffs have announced. On Oct. 7, Meyers & Flowers, a law firm based in St. Charles, Ill., in Chicago’s …

New Volkswagen CEO Says Emissions Scandal Could Signal the End of the Company

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USA Today is reporting that Volkswagen’s new CEO, Hans Dieter Poetsch, admits how the Volkswagen emissions scandal could cripple the world’s largest automaker to the point that it is forced to shut down. Poetsch warned managers how the automaker’s diesel-emission scandal poses “an existence-threatening crisis for the company” as new details emerged about how the debacle unfolded. The New York …

ALERT: Volkswagen Says 11 Million Cars Worldwide Are Affected in Emissions Scandal

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The world’s largest carmaker is in trouble. The German carmaker now admits that 11 million of its diesel cars were equipped with software that was used to circumvent emissions tests. Previously, Volkswagen had said that the problem only affected 500,000 vehicles in the US. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that it will ask the company to recall 500,000 …

More than 96% of Claimants Opt-In to ACTOS Resolution Program

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FiercePharma is reporting that Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. (collectively “Takeda”), today announced that more than 96 percent of eligible claimants have opted into the ACTOS (pioglitazone HCl) product liability resolution program that was announced on April 28, 2015. Takeda now is evaluating the submissions to determine whether they satisfy various criteria specified under terms …

Boston Scientific Ordered to Pay in Settlement Over Mesh

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Disclaimer: Results of this case are not necessarily indicative of future cases. A Delaware jury awarded a 51-year old bank teller $100 million over physical and emotional injuries she sustained from Boston Scientific’s vaginal mesh inserts. The $100 million settlement, one of the largest jury verdicts of 2015, consists of $25 million in compensatory damages and $75 million in punitive …

NEWS FLASH: Depakote Jury Reaches Verdict in Spina Bifida Case

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Disclaimer: Results of this case are not necessarily indicative of future cases. A stunning development out of St. Louis where a jury awarded a 12-year-old plaintiff Maddision Schmidt $15 million in compensatory damages and $23 million in punitive damages for birth defects she suffered from her mother taking Depakote while pregnant. The verdict represents a devastating blow to Abbott Labs’ …

First Tylenol Bellwether Trial Set for June 22, 2015

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The first Tylenol bellwether trial in multidistrict litigation (MDL) is fast approaching and lawyers from both sides are gearing up. The Pennsylvania trial involves whether the acetaminophen in various Tylenol products from Johnson & Johnson (J&J), and its subsidiary McNeill Consumer Healthcare, caused acute liver failure. U.S. District Judge Lawrence Stengel ordered jury selection on June 22, 2015 for Rana …

Takeda Offers Even More to Settle Actos: Total Settlement Reaches Even Greater Heights

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Bloomberg is reporting today that Takeda is now offering $2.3 billion – $100 million more than was offered on April 1, 2015 – to settle the 8,000 Actos cases currently on file in state and federal courts across the U.S. This is equal to $287,500 per case which figures to be only $12,500 more per case than their previous offer. …

NY AG Takes the Lead and Sues 2 Tanning Salons for Deceptive Advertising

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50 years in the future, I’m certain people will look back and wonder what we were thinking about the unchecked proliferation of indoor tanning salons much like we modern, enlightened people look back on those cigarette ads from the 1930s that promoted healthly living. Finally, someone in a legal position of authority is doing something about it. The New York …

Promise I’m NOT Blowing Smoke: Competitive E-Cigarette Smoking

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I promise I’m not making this up. Grown men, seemingly employed grown men, actually compete to see who has the biggest smoke plume from an e-cigarette drag. Really? It’s called “cloud chasing” or “competitive vaping” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Competitive” as if it’s a sport. Kind of like darts is a sport. Or billiards, video games, and poker. Anyway, …

E-Cigarettes Increasingly Popular with Teens

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E-Cigarette use has risen sharply over the past few years, as reported by the New York Times. E-cigarette use has tripled among middle and high school students from 2013 to 2014. According to federal data released today, 13% of high school students smoke e-cigarettes. As our T&T blog has reported on in the past, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) …

Bellwether Trial Begins in St. Louis over Pfizer’s Zoloft

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On Thursday, April 9, 2015, trial began in St. Louis, Missouri over Pfizer’s Zoloft, the company’s antidepressant drug, before Circuit Court Judge Margaret Neill. The Plaintiffs, Logyn Pesante and his mother Kristyn Pesante, allege that Zoloft caused Logyn Pesante to be born with multiple heart defects including TGA, or transposition of the arteries. Since birth, Logyn has undergone 25 procedures …

Study Shows Tylenol No Better Than Placebo & Hard on Your Liver

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The New York Times reported on April 1, 2015 that Tylenol is no better than a placebo when given to patients seeking relief from spinal pain or disability. The Australian researchers, published online in The BMJ, analyzed 5, 366 patients. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) was given orally in doses between 3,000-4,000 milligrams per day. What is even more alarming is the study …

ACTOS UPDATE: Takeda Offers Massive Settlement for Actos Users

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Bloomberg News is reporting that Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Asia’s largest drugmaker, is offering a $2.2 billion settlement for the 8,000 Actos lawsuits filed in state and federal courts throughout the U.S. On an individual basis, the settlement amount figures to be $275,000 per lawsuit. As the T&T blog has reported in the past, Actos sales peaked in March 2011 at …

Dialysis GranuFlo Litigation Update

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The T&T blog has reported on the Dialysis Litigation in the past as T&T represents hundreds of clients who were injured as a result of Fresenius Medical Care use of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte. Here is an update for all of our dialysis clients out there: The first bellwether trails for the Dialysis Litigation is scheduled for January 11th, 2016, with …

1st Federal Depakote Bellwether Trial Continues in St. Louis by Legal Dream Team

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On March 2, 2015, a legal dream team, including John Eddie Williams, Phillip Sampson, and Tommy Fibich, assembled in federal court in the Southern District of Illinois in an attempt to expose pharmaceutical giant Abbott Labs about the dangers of taking Depakote while pregnant.  Abbott Labs marketed Depakote as an effective drug for treating epilepsy, bipolar disorders, and migraines. Unfortunately, …

Study Shows Teens Easily Purchase E-Cigarettes Over the Internet

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March 2015’s issue of JAMA Pediatrics published a study entitled “Electronic Cigarette Sales to Minors via the Internet.” From February to June 2014, 11 teenagers from North Carolina ranging from 14 to 17 years old made supervised e-cigarette purchase attempts from 98 Internet e-cigarette vendors. The results are not a surprise to anyone who has used the internet to purchase …

Indoor Tanning Industry Braces as New Longterm Risks Continue to Emerge

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As the United States continues through a winter that included a historic blizzard in the Northeast, many of us may be longing for summer days spent on the beach, soaking up the sun and working on a tan. A number of people, however, may not bother waiting until summer and will instead visit one of the approximately 14,000 tanning salons …

J&J Drops Plaintiff Solicitation Discovery Bid In Mesh MDL

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Johnson & Johnson has withdrawn its discovery motion to pursue its allegations that the plaintiffs’ attorneys in transvaginal mesh multidistrict litigation had engaged in illegal plaintiff solicitation and filed lawsuits without legitimate claims. U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin on Feb. 11 granted J&J’s motion to withdraw its discovery motion related to its claims of plaintiff solicitation, though it did not …

Takeda Told to Pay Punitive Damages in Actos Claims

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A jury ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. to pay $1.3 million in punitive damages to a former teacher who argued the drugmaker’s Actos diabetes medicine caused his bladder cancer, in the company’s fifth loss in trials over the drug. Jurors in state court in Philadelphia deliberated more than two hours Friday before concluding that Osaka, Japan-based Takeda must pay the punitive …

Takeda Ordered to Pay Damages to Actos User

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Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. was ordered by a jury Thursday to pay more than $2.3 million in damages to a former teacher who blamed the company’s Actos diabetes drug for causing his bladder cancer. Jurors in state court in Philadelphia deliberated more than eight hours over two days before finding that Osaka, Japan-based Takeda failed to properly warn John Kristufek’s doctors …

Takeda Jury in Philadelphia Told Actos Responsible for Man’s Cancer

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A Philadelphia jury was sent to deliberate Wednesday afternoon after being urged to find that Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc. had willfully worked to obscure evidence linking the blockbuster diabetes drug Actos to an increased risk of bladder cancer. Miller Firm LLC attorney Michael Miller asked the jury during closing arguments to return a verdict in favor of plaintiff John Kristufek, who …

Pa. Judge Won’t Strike Actos Verdict Against Takeda

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Pennsylvania judge has declined to overturn a $2 million verdict awarded in October to a plaintiff who claimed that the Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc. drug Actos was a significant contributor to her developing bladder cancer. In an order docketed on Friday, Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Shelly Robins New rejected the company’s post-trial motions, in which they had argued that …

Calif. Dept. of Health Says Tobacco Laws Should Cover E-Cigarettes

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The California Department of Public Health said Wednesday (1/29/15) that laws aimed at protecting children and the public from traditional tobacco products should be expanded so that they include e-cigarettes, just one recommendation from a new report detailing the dangers and toxicity of so-called vaping devices. The report warns that the nicotine in e-cigarettes is just as addictive as in traditional …

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 …