National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Seeks to Increase Dealer Compliance with Required Tire Registration

It has been the law for years that when a purchaser/lessor of a vehicle with new tires takes possession of the vehicle that the dealer must provide a tire registration card to the purchaser/lessor and instruct the purchaser/lessor to mail the registration card to the tire manufacturer.

Nonetheless, it is estimated that only approximately 10% of tires are registered due to the perceived burdensome nature of filling out and mailing the cards. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed new rules allowing this to be done on-line or electronically by the dealer. The goals of the proposal … Read the rest

Now You Can Receive Alerts of Recalls of Tires and Child Car Seats By E-mail or On Your Personalized Homepage

Consumers can now sign up with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to receive automatic e-mail alerts when there is a government recall of defective tires or child restraint safety seats. Before this alert system, consumers had to rely on press reports or, if they filled in and then mailed the registration card when buying a tire or car seat, a notice from a manufacturer to learn about recalls.

Recall completion numbers indicate that fewer than one-third of affected consumers respond to tire recalls, while less than half of affected consumers respond to child seat recalls.

By contrast, … Read the rest

Exposure of Vioxx “Ghostwriting” Another Example of How Litigation Can Benefit Society (and Why Big Business/Pharma Fears It)

Product liability litigation involving rofecoxib (Vioxx) has led to the disclosure of materials that has provided direct evidence of something that has long been suspected but well-hidden by industry; the manipulation of pharmaceutical studies by for-profit manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and medical devices of study results, using authors, editors, and reviewers to misrepresent research data and manipulate clinical research articles and clinical reviews.

Reports published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) based upon a review of materials disclosed by Merck & Co. in the course of the Vioxx litigation claim Merck & Co. frequently paid academic … Read the rest

Medicare Proposes Adding to Its List of Hospital-Acquired Conditions For Which It Will Not Pay the Extra Costs

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is proposing to add an additional nine categories to its initial list of 8 preventable conditions that could reasonably have been avoided. that Medicare will no longer pay the extra costs of treating when acquired in the hospital.

In a statement dated April 14, 2008, CMS proposed to add the following to its list of preventable conditions that it will not pay for: Surgical site infections following certain elective procedures: Legionnaire’s disease; Extreme blood sugar derangement; Iatrogenic pneumothorax or collapsed lungs; Delirium; Ventilator-associated pneumonia; Deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism; Staphylococcus aureus … Read the rest

Construction Accidents: What’s Up With the Cranes?

Apparently it’s not sufficient that an inspector makes a phantom inspection of a Manhattan construction site crane that subsequently collapses, killing 7 people, injuring another 24 people, destroying a building, and causing untold other horrors.

An investigation by New York State’s inspector general has found that a Crane Operator Examining Board examiner issued more than 200 improper certificates to operators even though they had failed their practical exams. Examiner Frank Fazzio even improperly issued himself a crane certificate. He has been removed from the Crane Board.

The investigation was prompted by an allegation that certificates were being unfairly denied … Read the rest

First Nationwide Hospital-By-Hospital Survey Of Patient Satisfaction Released: Results Not Flattering for Long Island Hospitals

For the first time, the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has posted consumer survey information on its Hospital Compare Web site (www.hospitalcompare.hhs.gov) that attempts to capture the experiences of a patients in a hospital. It is a unique attempt by the government to evaluate hospital care from the perspective of the patient.

Unfortunately for Long Islanders, on average, Long Island hospitals scored lower in patient satisfaction in eight out of 10 measures compared with other hospitals statewide or nationally. The Island’s largest health system, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, did not fare well on the survey. Long … Read the rest

FDA Triples The Number Of Deaths It Attributes To Side Effects Of Heparin

The Food and Drug Administration yesterday raised from 19 to 62 its estimate of the number of people who may have died after suffering allergic reactions or hypotension to contaminated Chinese-produced batches of the blood thinner heparin.

Last month the FDA determined that Baxter Healthcare Corporation’s drug was contaminated with an unnatural chemical during production at a plant in China. The agency is still investigating whether the chemical was added accidentally or deliberately. Further information may ultimately be uncovered during any product liability lawsuits that may be brought.

Also last month, the FDA announced that Baxter had extended its … Read the rest

Taking Mirapex or Requip for Restless Leg Syndrome? Beware of “Disease Mongering”

“Disease mongering” is a term coined by some drug-marketing critics to describe what they view as an effort by pharmaceutical companies to enlarge the market for a drug by convincing people that they are suffering from something that can be medically treated and encouraging them to ask their doctor to prescribe the drug in order to enlarge the market for drug treatment and promote a particular product.

An example of such a tactic is advertising for Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS), a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant feelings in the legs with an associated uncontrollable urge to move when resting because … Read the rest

NYC Construction Site Crane Accident Puts Increased Attention on the City’s Buiding Department Inspection System

In developments related to the March 16, 2008, crane accident in New York City, a city inspector has been charged with lying that he had checked on the construction crane when in fact he had not. The inspection was purportedly made in response to a complaint made by a retired contractor on March 4 because he had been concerned for days about the lack of braces securing the crane at a construction site.

The inspector, Edward Marquette, 46, was charged with falsifying business records and offering a false instrument for filing. If convicted, he faces up to four years … Read the rest

Concerns Over Danger to Children and Others From Synthetic Turf Fields Escalate

This year’s LandTek FieldTurf convention, held last month at a hotel in Huntington, Long Island, New York, was dedicated to addressing recent worries that the filling material, composed of ground up tires, could eventually expose athletes to life-threatening illness.

The concerns have to do with the fact that the artificial fields are constructed using up to ten tons of ground-up used tires, or crumb rubber, as in-fill. The danger is that since tires typically contain toxic substances which prohibit their disposal in landfills and oceans, it seems reasonable to question whether this material is safe for use on fields where … Read the rest