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

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

Childrens’ Toy Aqua Dots Recalled for Containing a Chemical That When Eaten Converts Into “Date Rape Drug”

Aqua Dots, a/k/a Aqua Beads, a Chinese-made toy, was recalled Wednesday, November 7, 2007, by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after two children in the United States and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

Aqua Dots are packets of brightly colored beads that children arrange into mosaic designs. When sprinkled with water, the beads then stick together in as little as 10 minutes to form durable artworks. The toy was pulled from shelves after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into a dangerous, potentially fatal drug when eaten. The chemical coating on the beads, when … Read the rest

In the Immortal Words of Ralph Kramden: “Whoa, what a surprise!”

We recently wrote about the efforts of the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commision (CPSC), Nancy Nord, to oppose a Senate bill that would increase the budget and authority of the Commission to regulate consumer products such as children’s toys. It seemed more than a little odd that the government official in charge of protecting consumers would oppose legislation designed to improve product safety. Now a review of internal CPSC documents by The Washington Post reveals that since 2002 Chairman Nord, as well as her predecessor, Hal Stratton, have enjoyed nearly 30 trips totaling nearly $60,000.00 that were … Read the rest

Top U.S. Official for Protecting Consumer Product Safety Wants LESS Money and Clout to Enforce Consumer Protection Laws Than Senate Committee Approves

In an attempt to rectify problems and ensure the safety of our children, the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation voted yesterday to approve a bill which would overhaul federal standards on consumer products, and includes vital whistle-blower provisions to protect employees who report consumer safety violations. Yet notwithstanding the widely reported recalls of children’s products and the real risks posed to consumers, the top U.S. official for consumer product safety, Nancy A. Nord, the acting chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), had asked Congress in recent days to reject the legislation.

Thus far this year, Read the rest

Hazards Associated with Children’s Toys Go Well Beyond China and Lead Paint

2007 is on its way to becoming the year when more toys were recalled than any other year in the history of the toy industry. As of August 15, 2007, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) had recalled 40 toys, which extrapolates to 56 recalls by the end of the year. Much attention has been paid to the problem of toys colored with lead paint. Mattel, the world’s largest toy company, announced three major recalls, involving some 20 million items. The company said a number of toy cars and Barbie-related accessories had been colored with lead paint. … Read the rest

Another Week, Another Recall of Toys

Mattel, the world’s largest toy company and the maker of Barbie dolls and Hot Wheels cars, yesterday announced the biggest recall in its history. The company said it was recalling 436,000 Chinese-made die-cast toy cars depicting the character Sarge from the animated film Cars because they are covered with lead paint.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advises consumers to immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact Mattel. Consumers will need to return the product to receive a replacement toy.

At the same time, the toy maker said it was recalling 18.2 million other toys because their … Read the rest

Lead Paint Prompts Mattel to Recall Nearly 1 Million Toys

Mattel is recalling 967,000 toys, including 83 products featuring Sesame Street and Nickelodeon characters, because the products are covered in lead paint. The products are sold in retailers including Wal-Mart, Target and Toys “R” Us.

More than 300,000 tainted toys, which include Elmo Tub Sub, the Dora the Explorer Backpack, and the Giggle Gabber, and may have a date code from 109-7LF to 187-7LF, have been bought by consumers in the United States. The toys were manufactured in a factory in China, whose factories have recently been sources of poisonous pet food, dangerous car tires, and lead paint on Thomas … Read the rest

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