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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Stryker SEC pt. 1

Reading through Stryker’s 2013 SEC report, I was shocked to find this in the Risk Factors section on page 5,

We may be adversely affected by product liability claims, unfavorable court decisions or legal settlements. Our business exposes us to potential product liability risks that are inherent in the design, manufacture and marketing of medical devices, many of which are intended to be implanted in the human body for long periods of time or indefinitely.

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CDC cost of child abuse

$124,000,000,000

That figure represents what one year of child abuse cases will cost the United States according to the Centers for Disease Control. For context, consider how that dollar amount is more than the annual budgets for 47 of our 50 states.

It may seem crass to speak of child abuse in financial terms but money talks, and perhaps if a cost is put on the long-term damage child abuse does to our society, it will finally become a public health priority.

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Pope Francis Apology

On Friday April 11, shortly before the beginning of Holy Week, Pope Francis did what no Pope before him has ever done and took personal responsibility for the pedophile priests that have plagued the Catholic Church.

In remarks made at his library in the Vatican to members of a Catholic nongovernmental organization, the International Catholic Child Bureau, the Pope for forgiveness and pledged to impose penalties on “men of the church” who have harmed children.

The Pope’s comments are a positive step, but how much change in the church will they really bring? His words mean little to the children who are still being abused by priests around the world. If the Pope is sincere about wanting to end the epidemic of sexual abuse by priests he needs to take immediate action. The Vatican still refuses to open its archives and release records on abusive priests. The Vatican still refuses to fully expose the Bishops who sheltered abusive priests from prosecution and are thereby complicit in the abuse.

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Risperdal AK

This week Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel asked for the reinstatement of a $1.2 billion Risperdal fine overturned by the state’s Supreme Court last month. The associated press reported on April 3rd that Attorney General Dustin McDaniel told the Arkansas Code Revision Commission on Thursday that he would file a petition asking the Court to revisit the decision.

In the petition McDaniel said that justices did “significant harm” to the state and broke from 170 years of precedent. The $1.2 billion verdict had been levied against Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen Pharmaceuticals unit in April 2012, after an Arkansas jury found that the companies had violated state laws governing Medicaid fraud and deceptive trade practice by improperly marketing Risperdal. The Supreme Court overturned that verdict last month claiming that McDaniel’s office had misapplied the state’s Medicaid fraud law.

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Actos Verdict

On Tuesday April, 8, a Louisiana Jury ordered drug makers Eli Lily and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company to pay a total of $9 billion in punitive damages after they judged the companies did not disclose known cancer risks of their diabetes medicine Actos. In the award, Japan-based Takeda was ordered to pay $6 billion, and Eli Lilly, which helped promote and market the drug, was ordered to pay $3 billion. The jury also awarded nearly $1.5 million to the plaintiffs in compensatory damages.

The prescription drug pioglitazone, which was sold under the name Actos, was prescribed to treat patients with Type 2 Diabetes. An FDA review in 2011 discovered that patients taking Actos for more than a year had an increased risk of bladder cancer. That same year the drug was banned in several European countries over the same concerns.

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FL MedMal cap

On March 13, the Florida Supreme Court overturned the centerpiece of the 2003 medical malpractice overhaul law. In the opinion the court strongly criticized the Florida Legislature and even went so far as to accuse them of creating an “alleged medical malpractice crisis.”

The justices ruled in the 5-2 opinion that Florida’s controversial 2003 medical malpractice reform violated survivors’ equal protection rights, because hard caps on noneconomic damages were limited to no more than $1 million in the event of a death or permanent vegetative state — regardless of the number of practitioners or survivors.

The 2003 law limited individual family members to damages not determined by the actual pain and suffering they endured but rather by how many other relatives were also entitled to part of the $1 million in noneconomic damages. When multiple parties were found at fault the burden was even further lessened – regardless of severity – because there were more parties to contribute toward the damage award.

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Androgel

Shortly after the FDA announced last month that they were investigating the safety of testosterone therapy drugs five men filed claims against an Abbott Labratories subsidiary AbbVie, the manufacturer of the popular AndroGel. Three of the men claimed they had heart attacks and two had strokes after they began taking AndroGel.

Another case was recently filed in California federal court in which a male patient alleges he suffered a stroke after taking the testosterone therapy drug Testim.

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Childhood Sexual Abuse Attorney

Recently I had the opportunity to address the court on behalf of a 28-year-old victim whose images of childhood sexual abuse were among those discovered on the computer of child porn trader Michael D Meister.

On December 20 Meister was sentenced in Federal Court to seven years in prison for collecting and sharing child pornography. But it was also ruled that Meister, who has high-risk multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, would be allowed to remain free during appeal.

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