Dangers of Cell Phone Distraction While Driving

“Would you drive the length of a football field at 55 mph with your eyes closed?
That question was posed by TimesDaily.com. According to the online publication, the National Highway Safety Administration states that is what it is like to take your eyes off the road for five seconds.

Hand-Held Versus Hands-Free

Cell phone technology is expanding at a rapid rate. Android and Apple smart-phones have the capability to surf Facebook, the internet, read emails, stream news, watch movies and videos, and take pictures at the touch of a finger. The technology is expected to expand to screens that bend, self-charging phones, and NFC chips that allow people to use their phones as boarding passes, hotel room keys, and payment cards.

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$11 Million Pelvic Mesh Jury Verdict again Ethicon Upheld

New Jersey trial Judge Carol Higbee denied Johnson & Johnson and subsidiary Ethicon’s motion to throw out the 11 million dollar jury verdict from last February’s trial. The jury in the Linda Gross v. Ethicon trial awarded $3.35 million in compensatory damages and $7.76 in punitive damages after finding that the manufacturer of the transvaginal mesh was negligent and that the product was a defective product under products liability laws.

The jury trial which took four weeks involved the Gynecare Prolift Pelvic Mesh Kit. This type of mesh is marketed to treat pelvic organ prolapse and stress urinary incontinence in women. In 2012, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) became concerned the high rate of injuries and adverse outcomes from transvaginal mesh products and issued a number orders that medical device manufacturers increase post market surveillance of adverse events for these products.

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DePuy ASR Hip Settlement Update in the U.S.A.

The first few settlement payments were made over the last two weeks from the DePuy ASR Settlement Trust. It had been hoped that more payments would have been made by this point. Brown Greer which is the law firm that is administering the settlement listed June on its website as the anticipated starting month for payments. Apparently, reviewing the claims and documents submitted turned out to be more time consuming than they had anticipated.

As of the second week of July, Brown Greer has doubled its team members on this project so that they now have 85 attorneys, project managers, analysis, and claim reviewers. Brown Greer has a good track record, in my experience, in administering large complex settlements such as this one and I am confident that they will be able to speed up the processing and payment of these claims.

Brown Greer reviews the claims submitted and then issues either a Notice of Eligibility or a Deficiency Notice if documents submitted are not complete. If an Eligibility Notice is issued, it provides a detailed breakdown of how much is proposed to be paid on the claim and why. The attorney receiving the Notice of Eligibility can either accept the claim or contest the claim. If the attorney receiving the Notice of Eligibility does not agree that the payment amount is correct he or she can submit a written description of why the claim is not correct and can upload documents to support the contest of the claim.

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Low T, Clarus – Are Pharmaceutical Companies Manufacturing Cures?

In yet another clear sign that pharmaceutical companies are manufacturing a cure and have used the media and aggressive marketing to create a market, Clarus Therapeutics announced that they are resurrecting an IPO designed to back the launch of their new low testosterone drug Rextoro.

Clarus first mounted the IPO for Rextoro three years ago but withdrew it due to lack of market interest. Now with Low T clinics opening across the nation Clarus has mounted a bid to raise $86 million in venture capitol to launch Rextoro. In the IPO the company has announced the drug has gone through Phase III studies and was submitted to the FDA in January.

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Auto Accidents – Why Hire a Lawyer?

Everyone in Florida is required by law to have Personal Injury Protection (PIP) automobile insurance. PIP is your personal policy for medical coverage for up to $10,000, whether you are at fault or not. Seems simple, but is it?

Not really. If your injuries are not reported by a medical doctor to be emergency-related medical condition, PIP only pays up to $2,500. To make matters worse, if you do not see a medical doctor or go to a medical facility within 14 days of your accident, your PIP claim can be completely denied. We are fighting to repeal this law, but until we succeed, this is Florida Law.

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Las Vegas Actos Trial Markedly Aggressive

A civil trial in Las Vegas is pitting two cancer victims against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the maker of the diabetes drug Actos. This comes only a month after a Louisiana jury ordered Takeda to pay $6 billion in punitive damages in another case involving Actos.

The trial in Las Vegas has been marked by the use of ultra-aggressive tactics by Takeda’s defense attorneys. Early in the trial Takeda’s counsel made antagonistic attempts to have District Judge Kerry Earley removed from the case, raising vague questions of impropriety.

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Low-T Clinics Draw Clients Despite Pending Investigations

It was announced last week that Stephen Nichols, of Fort Collins CO, is planning to sue Abbott Laboratories subsidiary AbbVie, the manufacturer of the popular testosterone treatment AndroGel. Nichols joins the growing number of suits being filed against the makers of AndroGel including ones already filed in Illinois and Lousiana.

Nichols suffered a heart attack after he was prescribed AndroGel to treat low testosterone. It was only after the heart attack that he learned the FDA is investigating the safety of testosterone treatments. Recent studies have also linked the treatments to an increased risk of strokes, heart attack and death.

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Vatican and The UN Hearing

Father Greg Reynolds of Melbourne, Australia publically advocated for the ordination of women and was excommunicated by Pope Francis.

Father Carlos Urrutigoity was accused of molesting boys in Shohola and Moscow, PA, and was transferred to a parish in Paraguay – where he now holds the number 2 position in his diocese.

Neither of these cases surprises me, nor did the testimony of the Vatican’s U.N. ambassador to the U.N.’s Convention Against Torture in Geneva yesterday. When pressed about the Catholic Church’s responsibility in cases of priests sexually abusing children, Archbishop Silvano Tomasi responded strongly, “It should be stressed, particularly in light of much confusion, that the Holy See has no jurisdiction over every member of the Catholic Church.”

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Zimmer Holdings’ Purchase of Biomet May Speed Up Settlement Negotiations

On April 24, 2014, Zimmer Holdings announced that it will purchase Biomet, Inc., for $13.35 billion. The sale is expected to go through by the first quarter of 2015.

Zimmer Holdings has agreed to include Biomet’s “net debt” in the purchase. In the meantime, Biomet is being sued nationally and globally over its Magnum M2a Hip Replacement System. The pending sale may be one reason Biomet agreed to a $56 million settlement of all its U.S. Magnum M2a lawsuits in an effort to reduce its net debt.

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Endo Transvaginal Announcement

The New York Times reported yesterday that Endo International agreed to pay $830 million to resolve legal claims from women who say they were injured by transvaginal mesh devices marketed by the company..

The company still refuses to admit liability or fault for the defective devices, but announced that the agreement would cover most of the mesh litigation brought against its American Medical Systems subsidiary.

The claims Endo is agreeing to settle are among thousands that have been filed against medical device makers. Along with Endo and American Medical Systems, suits have been brought against C.R. Bard, Boston Scientific, and Johnson & Johnson’s Ethicon unit.

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