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FDA’s Rule Pre-empting State Law Failure-to-Warn Claim is Rejected

On July 3rd, the Vioxx multidistrict litigation court held that the Food and Drug Administrations (FDA)’s rule preempting state products liability law suits against drug companies in failure-to-warn claims is not persuasive. The court also stated that FDA cannot assume that Congress intended to override the long-standing presumption against preempting state law.

The court’s ruling is a victory for consumers injured by medicines that they claim are inaccurately labeled. Though issued in litigation pertaining to Vioxx, the ruling may also end up being applied to Avandia as cases are brought and move forward.

The FDA’s preemption theory is found in … Read the rest

Are There Dark Days Ahead for Con Edison?

It was an ordinary workday for most on July 18th, 2007, when suddenly a loud explosion was heard by New Yorkers in the Grand Central Station area and the ground felt like it was shaking. Immediately police, fire and utility officials fled to the area around the blast, which according to Con Edison left behind a crater that was 25 feet wide and 15 feet deep.

The blast occurred at around 6PM and is currently said to have been caused by a steam explosion. As of now there has been one confirmed death due to this incident. Specifically, Mayor Bloomberg … Read the rest

Drug Companies Will Be Forced To List Gifts Made To Doctors If Legislation Passes

On June 27th, a Senate hearing was held regarding the pharmaceutical industry’s routine practice of promoting and marketing drugs and medical devices by showering doctors with gifts. Drug companies which attempt to persuade doctors to prescribe their drugs provide doctors with meals at high-priced restaurants, stock options, sponsorships for educational programs, drug samples, tickets to sporting events and Broadway shows, lab professorship funding, and trips to educational conferences at popular vacation areas with airfare, car rental, and hotel costs included.

Senator Clair McCaskill, Missouri Democrat, and Senator Herb Kohl, Wisconsin Democrat and chairman of the Special Committee on Aging, … Read the rest

Walter Reed: After the Scandal, More Mistreatment of Veterans?

The recent scandal surrounding Walter Reed Army Medical Center–set off in February by a Washington Post investigative series documenting cases of alleged neglect–may not be the end of veterans’ grievances against the government. The Post’s disturbing account of building deterioration and patient neglect at the facility, which houses sick and wounded Iraq veterans, set off a political firestorm that resulted in the hospital’s highest official being relieved of command.

Now, Tresa Baldas at the National Law Journal reports that legal action may be close in tow, as Disabled American Veterans (DAV), a nonprofit group that assists veterans applying for disability

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Judge Does Not Take the Legal System “to the Cleaners”

Today is not a day that will live in “legal infamy.” District of Columbia Superior Court Judge Judith Bartnoff dismissed the lawsuit brought on by Roy L. Pearson who sued his dry cleaners for $54 million for supposed consumer abuse for losing his suit pants and attempting to replace them with a different, cheaper pair that did not belong to him. The Court rejected Mr. Pearson’s lawsuit that strictly interpreted a dry cleaner’s promise of “Satisfaction Guaranteed.”

Mr. Pearson attempted to sue under a consumer law that imposes fines of $1,500 per violation, per day, as well as claiming damages … Read the rest

Tragic Drowning of 3-year old Spurs Legislation to Require Alarms on All Pools

Every year, about 260 children under the age of five die from drowning in swimming pools. Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death for children under 14, with motor vehicle accidents being the first. The American Academy of Pediatrics reports that most children who drown are found after about 10 minutes of being submerged. Children usually lose consciousness after being under water for only two minutes and irreversible damage to the brain often occurs after approximately four to six minutes of being under water. There are currently no national laws governing the safety of pools.

In December of … Read the rest

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