The Crane Brethren

Yesterday our office received a call from a client involved in the March 15, 2008, collapse of a crane at a construction project on East 51st Street in Manhattan. The news that another crane collapsed when the top of the crane on an East 91st Street construction site had snapped off, crashed into a building across the street and killed two construction workers had hit our client personally; he had received a telephone call from a crane operator that he knew from his work that identified the crane operator who died in the latest collapse as a friend of our … Read the rest

Direct to Consumer Advertising of Cypher Stent Draws Heavy Criticism and Points to Need for Legislation

For several years the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been reviewing a set of guidelines proposed in 2004 for advertising medical devices. Now, a television advertisement for a heart stent, metal mesh devices that are used to prop open arteries after they have been cleared of blockages, has been scrutinized and attacked in an op-ed article for failing to adequately warn consumers about the potential dangers of receiving a stent, including a ruptured coronary artery. The ad does warn of heart attack and stroke.

The ad for the Cypher stent, made by the Cordis subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, … Read the rest

The Dangers of ACL Tears to Young Female Athletes

There are an increasing number of girls playing sports, such as soccer and basketball, but with this growing statistic comes an increase in the number of girls and young women sustaining sports related injuries such as anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) knee tears. Studies conclude that in sports such as soccer, basketball and gymnastics, female athletes experience ACL tears at a rate of five times that of male athletes.

This orthopedic injury is very debilitating and can disrupt one’s every day life in the short-term and has serious long term consequences as well. The ACL is a small, rubber-band-like fiber, that … Read the rest

Governor Paterson Busy Protecting Citizens from Harmful Doctors, Drugs, Toys and Sexual Predators – Part 2

Part 2 of this topic discusses new legislation regarding dangerous drugsdefective toys and sexual predators using the internet to prowl and prey. The information herein is set forth in press releases issued by the governor’s office. Proposed legislation designed to protect patients from medical malpractice was discussed in Part 1 of this blog. Governor David A. Paterson has proposed legislation to limit the influence of pharmaceutical manufacturers over prescription decisions by banning gifts and payments from drug companies to physicians and other prescribers in excess of $50 per year; these actions are to be monitored by pharmacy benefit … Read the rest

Governor Paterson Busy Protecting Citizens from Harmful Doctors, Drugs, Toys and Sexual Predators – Part 1

Last week was a busy week for New York’s Governor David A. Paterson on issues often written about in this blog – medical malpracticedangerous drugsdefective toys and sexual predators using the internet. Some bills were signed, others introduced. The most ambitious of these was on the medical malpractice front, Governor Paterson proposed legislation that offers more transparency for patients and tougher professional discipline for physicians; enhanced infection control requirements will facilitate the prevention of and response to infectious disease transmissions. Part 1 will discuss this legislation, Part 2 the others. The information herein is set … Read the rest

Encouraging News? Congress Prepares to Undo Anticipated Supreme Court Decision Precluding Lawsuits Over Dangerous Drugs

In the event that the Supreme Court applies the federal doctrine of preemption to permit the pharmaceutical industry to avoid accountability for the harm dangerous drugs cause, the only remedy would be for Congress to pass a law expressly stating that preemption does not preclude state court lawsuits for compensation.

And that, hopefully, is the goal of the process engaged in by Chairman Rep. Henry A. Waxman of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the U.S. House of Representatives this past Wednesday, May 14, 2008. Similarly, Reps. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Waxman (D-Calif.) have drafted legislation, the Medical … Read the rest

Seemingly Never-Ending String of High School Lunch-Time Car Accidents Fuels Debate Over Open Campuses

A fatal car accident involving students driving off of school grounds during lunch period has again focused attention on whether open campus is a concept that should be ended.

Following a crash on April 10, 2008 in which two West Hempstead High School students were killed and another seriously injured, New York State Assemblyman Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) renewed his call to enact his bill that would ban all school districts in the state from permitting students to leave campus in vehicles during school hours. Assemblyman Gianaris introduced Assembly Bill A.9619 this past January.

As a result of the accident, … Read the rest

Toy Industry Announces Safety Coordination Initiative in Response to Unprecedented Recalls of Dangerous Products

In response to toy safety concerns raised during the summer of 2007 and the record number of unsafe toys recalled last year (and doubtlessly a number of product liability lawsuits), the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have formed the Toy Safety Coordination Initiative, a developing program that is designed to improve the safety of toys sold in American and to rebuild consumer confidence in the safety of toys in the American marketplace.

The purpose of the initiative may be two-fold: to increase toys’ safety and to head-off stricter federal and state lawsRead the rest

Propaganda in Health News: An Epidemic of Fake Health Stories

A feature article in the March/April 2007 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review discusses and labels as an epidemic the pervasive role hospitals play in producing “feel good” stories that are essentially advertisements for themselves and feeding the stories to television stations that run the stories as purported health news on their local TV news programs.

The stories chosen tend to promote expensive specialties and procedures like bariatric surgery for obesity and gamma knife surgery for brain cancer at the expense of stories about less profitable diagnoses, like AIDS or pneumonia, care for the uninsured, or critical stories such as … Read the rest

New York City Holds 4th Annual Construction Safety Week

Last week, April 28 – May 2, 2008, was New York Citys 4th annual Construction Safety Week, the purpose of which is to “advance safe construction practices. Seminars were offered in topics such as Scaffold Safety: Keeping Workers Safe on the Job, (held by the NYC Department of Buildings in conjunction with the Latin American Workers Project), Performing Safe Excavations, Safety First: Urban Demolition, Crane Safety: New Regulations You Must Know and Safe Concrete Operations, Design, Methods and Regulations.

The previous week saw Buildings Commissioner Patricia Lancaster resign her position at the Department of Buildings. She admitted to … Read the rest