When it comes to sexual abuse notoriety, only one priest in the Archdiocese of Boston can come close to John Geoghan and that’s Paul Shanley. The 77 year old former Catholic priest wants a new trial based on what his new lawyer calls “junk science”. The lawyer is referring to the theory of repressed memories. Yet, when it comes to the Shanley case in Boston, hundreds of young boys, some as young as 6, were raped, sodomized, and abused for years by this monster. Obviously, the survivors of abuse in Boston are outraged by his request for a new trial.
Shanley, who once was associated with the North American Man Boy Love Association, is serving a 12-15 year prison sentence for raping a young boy.
Congressmen Dingell and Stupak, both Michigan Democrats, have sent letters to major pharmaceutical companies Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Schlering-Plough Corp. asking them to reduce their direct to consumer marketing campaigns until a study on the subject has been finalized.
The Congressional action comes in the midst of controversy surrounding pharmaceutical drug company’s aggressive marketing campaigns tailored to influence consumers by slick ads rather than solid science. The controversy has been particularly pointed at Vytorin and Lipitor, two controversial cholesterol drugs.
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An FDA committee will convene June 10th to discuss recent safety concerns with contact lens cleaning solutions. While some doctors cite improper cleaning technique as an ongoing problem, the FDA remains concerned about the safety and quality of some contact lens cleaning solutions.
Advanced Medical and Bausch & Lomb have both recall contact lens solutions that were linked to potentially blinding infections. Bausch & Lomb’s Renu with MoistureLoc was pulled from the market in 2006 after it was linked to a fusarium fungus.
According to a News Channel 8 and Tampa Tribune ongoing investigation into the public records concerning the Raytheon groundwater contamination issue in St. Petersburg, the defense contractor knew about the toxic plume as early as 1999. Furthermore, the toxic plume wasn’t the result of an accidental spill but rather a deliberate dumping of toxins into a shallow pit on site in the 1960′s.
The news gets even worse. The toxic plume problem had grown serious enough by 2001 that a DEP official prepared a letter for the agency’s district director, Deborah Getzoff. The letter instructed Raytheon, owner of the plant at 1501 72nd St. N., to reassess the risk to the public and to notify neighbors with irrigation wells.
The letter was never sent and neighbors were never informed of DEP’s increasing concerns.
Pfizer’s smoking cessation drug Chantix has already been linked to higher incidents of depression and suicide. Now, a drug safety group is warning users about other dangers linked to the drug. The Institute for Safe Medication Practices, a Horsham, Pa., organization that seeks to improve drug safety, released a study that shows Chantix may lead to heart trouble, seizures and diabetes. Thomas Moore, the head of the study group has called on Pfizer and the FDA to immediately upgrade Chantix’s warning label to include the new findings.
Chantix received 988 reports of adverse effects in the last quarter of last year, the highest of any drug on the market. Chantix entered the market in 2006 and was touted as a drug that helped smokers kick their nicotine habit. Chantix was designed to alter the brain’s receptors to lessen the desire to smoke. However, soon thereafter, reports of increased suicides and depression began to be associated with Chantix.
Roche’s CellCept and Novartis’ Myfortic have received renewed warnings from the FDA after miscarriages have been reported in organ transplant patients who’ve used the drugs. The initial FDA warning came last October after initial reports of miscarriages and birth defects in pregnant women. According to the FDA, the renewed warning occurred because the federal agency was concerned that doctors had not been aware of the initial warning.
The drugs are used to suppress the immune system in order to avoid organ transplant rejection.
A lawsuit filed against the Salesians of Don Bosco was filed on the eve of trial for an undisclosed amount. The suit involved another Salesian from the now closed Mary Help of Christians School in Tampa. Jorge Acosta, who was only at the school for a year, molested an undetermined number of young boys while at Mary Help of Christians. Acosta at the time was a Salesian brother in charge of the dormitory area where the young students slept.
Mary Help of Christians school has been a hotbed of sexual abuse dating as far back as the 1950′s. The Salesian priests and brothers who molested the young boys groomed the victims by paying special attention to them, buying them gifts, and showering them with attention. Many of the boys came from broken homes while others were sent to the Catholic school because their parents believed that they would receive a good Catholic education. Instead, they were sexually abused and molested in the hellish atmosphere of the school. Once they were abused, they were threatened and coerced into not revealing the crimes committed against them. These young boys, some as young as 9 or 10, were left alone victimized by the very people to whom they looked for attention, guidance, and support.
Many of these survivors of sexual abuse at Mary Help of Christians have lived tortured lives, losing their faith and unable to cope with daily life. Some have come forward to reveal their history of abuse and seek justice and accountability from the Salesians and the Church who abandoned them as young boys.
Since 2002, when the Catholic priest sex abuse scandal broke wide open in Boston, I’ve heard many of these painful, heart wrenching stories. As a priest sex abuse lawyer, these stories fill me with outrage at the injustice and criminal behavior of the Salesians and other priests who’ve betrayed the trust of parishioners and their community. Lawsuits continue to be filed and we continue to seek some form of justice from the courts. We’ll continue to pursue justice until all children are free from the dangers of these criminal child sexual predators.
Stryker Corporation has received its third FDA warning letter in the past year. The medical device company received the latest warning letter due to “quality systems and compliance issues”. The letter noted issues with the plant’s handling of compliance issues with a past clinical study including medical device reporting procedures as well as the documentation used to approve medical implants.
The two previous warning letters concerned similar issues at Stryker plants in Mahwah New Jersey and Cork Ireland. Those letters prompted a recall of the Stryker hip implant due to manufacturing problems as well as defective design. The company is facing lawsuits associated with the recalled artificial hips.
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Actavis has had to recall its cardiac drug Digitek over serious safety concerns. The recall occurred as a result of some tablets being twice as thick and strength. While the scope of the safety concerns and injuries are not well known, a company spokesperson admitted that the double strength tablets pose a toxicity risk in patients with liver failure. The drug is used to slow down fluttering heart beats but too much of the drug can cause nausea, plummeting blood pressure, and death.
This is not the first time Digitek has encountered problems. The FDA cited Actavis in 2006 for not promptly filing safety reports at one of its New Jersey plants. Thus far, there are several reports of injuries and illness associated with the Digitek recall.