South Carolina Judge Rules that Mayor Bloomberg’s “Sting” to Reduce Guns on NYC Streets Could be Considered Extreme and Outrageous

A South Carolina judge has ruled that counter suits by a South Carolina gun dealer against Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and New York City over tactics used against out-of-state gun dealers, accusing Mr. Bloomberg and the city of, among other charges, conspiracy, fraud and defamation by speaking ill of them in the press, can go ahead. The ruling allows Mr. Bloomberg to be sued in his private capacity and thus be potentially personally liable for damages. The judge also ordered that Mayor Bloomberg sit for a deposition in New York.

The counter suit was filed in response to city lawsuits … Read the rest

St. Judes Riata Line of Defibrillator Leads May Puncture Holes in Patient’s Heart

Not long after Medtronic pulled a flawed Sprint Fidelis leads off the market because of an apparent tendency to break, there are concerns that similar leads sold by St. Jude Medical may in rare cases puncture holes in patients’ hearts. Both cases concern wires, known as leads, that monitor the heart and transmit an electrical jolt to restore normal heartbeats.

A defibrillator lead is a thin wire that attaches an implantable defibrillator to the heart. When a defibrillator lead wire detaches, it can poke a hole through the heart wall. If this happens the heart can bleed into the

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Energy Drinks Boost More Than Energy: Is There A Failure to Warn?

Downing an energy drink (ie. Red Bull, Full Throttle, Amp and Rush) may boost blood pressure and heart rate as well as energy, posing a particularly significant risk to patients with heart disease, high blood pressure, or in those who consume energy drinks often. This finding was based upon a small study of healthy adults who drank two cans a day of a popular energy drink presented by researchers at the American Heart Associations Scientific Sessions 2007 earlier this month. The increases did not reach dangerous levels in the healthy volunteers.

Most energy drinks contain high levels of caffeine and … Read the rest

Daily Eater of Popcorn Sues Over Butter-Flavor Chemical Diacetyl, Saying “I Inhaled.”

Exposure to the chemical known as diacetyl, which adds the buttery flavor to popcorn, has been tied to hundreds of cases of workers whose lungs have been damaged or destroyed. When it is heated diacetyl becomes a vapor and when it is inhaled over a long period of time, it can cause various problematic symptoms. Exposure to this chemical can cause one to experience difficulty breathing and exhaling, and one’s lungs can become scarred. The severe form of the disease is called “bronchiolitis obliterans,” also known as “popcorn workers’ lung,” which can be lethal.

In fact, in July of 2005, … Read the rest

4,500 Patients of NYC Anesthesiologist to be Alerted to Get Tested for Hepatitis C: Not All of Dr. Harvey Finkelstein’s Patients Were Notified to Get Tested

Health officials in New York City earlier this year linked three cases of hepatitis C to an anesthesiologist who administered intravenous pain medication. Although they are still investigating the exact cause, officials are notifying 4,500 patients who received treatment from the doctor from December 2003 to May 2007 that they should get tested for the disease, according to a report in The New York Times (11/17/07). The officials would not name the doctor.

This report comes on the heels of last week’s disclosure that the New York Department of Health (DOH) has known for three years that Dr. Harvey Finkelstein Read the rest

Off-Label Marketing of Fentora Leads to $425 Million Penalty

On September 27, 2007, the Food and Drug Administration issued a warning about the risk of potentially fatal overdoses with Fentora, a narcotic painkiller manufactured by Cephalon. The action came less than two weeks after the company sent a letter to doctors notifying them of three drug-related deaths. Cephalon has just recently agreed to settle the U.S. Justice Department investigation of its allegedly illegal off-label marketing of Fentora (fentanyl buccal) and Actiq outside the indications on their labels. Cephalon denied it marketed the drugs improperly and claims the problems are a result of improper prescribing.

In settling, they have … Read the rest

Possible Statute of Limitations Bar to Over 600 People Who Doctor Might Have Exposed to Hepatitis B and C and HIV Illustrates Gross Unfairness of Lack of “Discovery Rule”

Earlier this week, 628 people were sent letters by the New York State Health Department urging them to get tested for hepatitis B and C and HIV, all blood borne diseases, because they had received epidural injections from Dr. Harvey Finkelstein, who used re-used syringes, from January 1, 2000 to January 15, 2005.

Even though the victims would have had no way of knowing that they had been exposed to the diseases until now, it may be too late for them to sue the doctor. This is because under New York law, the time period to bring suit (2 1/2 … Read the rest

Convictions for Unsavory Use of Internet Chat Rooms Directed Towards Minors Lead to Judicial Review of Federal Statutes

The government’s use of investigators or informants posing as underage victims to ensnare sexual predators has been upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in United States v. Gagliardi, 064541-cr, ruling that 18 U.S.C. 2422(b) is not unconstitutionally vague and does not require that the victim be an actual minor.
The United States Supreme Court is also considering a constitutional challenge to a federal statute by an individual who used an Internet chat room for an unsavory purpose; exchanging child pornography. United States v. Williams, No. 06-6944, argued October 30, 2007.
In United States
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Attorney’s Pro Forma Notices at End of E-mails Not Worth the Bytes They’re Stored In (Beware the Employer’s E-mail Server)

It has become commonplace for attorneys and others sending faxes and e-mails to include at the end of such communications standard language stating that the contents thereof are confidential and privileged. Such standard language should provide no comfort, however, for senders and receivers of e-mails that use an employer’s server.

A decision by Hon. Charles E. Ramos of the Supreme Court, New York County, holds that a pro forma notice at the end of an e-mail message did not inure the attorney-client privilege to the e-mail when an employer’s e-mail server is used. The Court was particularly persuaded by the … Read the rest

Instant Messages May Byte Too

An interesting discussion contrasting the technology, data storage characteristics and the discovery process of e-mails with instant messages (IM) appears in an article by attorneys Michael B. de Leeuw and Eric A. Hirsch in the “E-Discovery” special section of the November 5, 2007 New York Law Journal.

IM is quickly becoming the medium of choice for informal communication in the workplace, offering far greater efficiency, speed and immediacy than e-mail.

The article points out that although IM typically are stored locally in individual hard drives rather than in servers, some users of IM have found themselves in trouble because they … Read the rest