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World Trade Center 9/11 Insurer and Law Firms Sanctioned $1.25 Million

United States District Court Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein (Southern District of New York) has imposed sanctions totalling $1,250,000.00 against Zurich American Insurance Company and two of its law firms for failing to timely produce documents that defeated Zurich’s attempt to avoid liability insurance obligations regarding lawsuits brought by the legal successors of many of those who died and many of those who suffered personal injuries or suffered property damage in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Judge Hellerstein imposed the sanctions pursuant to Rule 11 and Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure based upon a thorough analysis … Read the rest

Alcohol-Related Traffic Deaths Highest in 15 Years

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in its preliminary report on fatalities occurring in 2006 as a result of motor vehicle accidents, project alcohol-related traffic fatalities increased by 2.4 percent from 2005 to 2006; 17,941 for 2006 versus 17,525 for 2005.

This represents the highest number of alcohol-related traffic deaths since 1992. Injuries sustained in alcohol-related traffic accidents declined 6 percent, from 2.7 million in 2005 to 2.54 million in 2006.

Comparing 2005 to 2006, overall traffic fatalities are down slightly by 0.3 percent, from 43,443 in 2005 to 43,300 in 2006. The 2006 fatality rate is projected to … Read the rest

Is the Increase of Technology Causing an Increase in Car Accidents?

Car accidents are becoming more prevalent today and there is a cause for concern that, at the least, this is partly due to the rise in consumer use of technology, including cell phones and other devices, while they are operating their vehicles. As a result people are sustaining serious personal injuries. For instance, on Saturday June 2nd, 2007, there was a multi-car accident on the Long Island Expressway in Commack, New York due to a driver who was distracted by his Ipod. It is apparent that there is a rise of use of cell phones and ipods while individuals are … Read the rest

Avandia, a Drug for Diabetes, Another Vioxx?

Reminiscent of Vioxx, which Merck pulled off the market in 2004 after it was shown to cause heart attacks in some patients, an analysis to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that Avandia, a widely used pill to treat adult-onset, or Type 2, diabetes, raises the risk of heart attack by 43 percent.

Over a seven-year period, taking Avendia raises the chance of a diabetic having a heart attack from 20.2 to 28.8 percent, meaning that possibly tens of thousands of people had heart attacks as a result of taking the medication. The U.S. Food and … Read the rest

Focus on Drug-Makers’ Marketing

The news last week was filled with various reports concerning the manner in which pharmaceutical manufacturers market their products, such as OxyContin, anemia medicines, and atypical psychotics, including ways in which doctors are encouraged to prescribe their products, even to children. The U.S. Senate passed, by a vote of 93-1, a bill that gives the Food and Drug Administration additional authority to regulate drug advertising, among other powers such as the ability to order changes in drug labels.

The bill was passed in large part as a reaction to the experience with Vioxx, where it took 14 months to change … Read the rest

President Clinton Speaks at Law Day Dinner

On May 9, 2007, former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker at the annual New York State Trial Lawyers Law Day Dinner. President Clinton spoke eloquently about the rule of law, telling the audience that during his travels to fledgling democratic countries throughout the world, he is compelled to stress that democracy is not only about majority rule. Rather, democracy is also about individual rights, minority rights, and adherence to constitutional principles, in order that no single person or group can become too powerful.

President Clinton reminded those in attendance that in representing clients in court, trial lawyers are … Read the rest