Monthly Archives: July 2006

Iowa Prof. Says She Told Bausch & Lomb About Problems with ReNu Two Years Ago

When the contact lens solution, ReNu with MoistureLoc debuted on the market in November 2004, University of Iowa clinical professor wanted to test the product’s effectiveness. What she found led her to call the company and tell them about its dangers. The public relations director dismissed her findings and stated that the product had been sufficiently tested. Two years later, we know the rest of the story.

Clinical Prof. Noticed Problems with ReNu Two Years Ago

Christine Sindt, a University of Iowa clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology noticed a disturbing problem with ReNu contact lens solution after doing her own study of the product. “I always like to test the new products – test drive them, so I can develop an opinion,” Sindt said.
Contact lenses sat soaked in three different solutions overnight. The following day, Sindt examined five volunteers from her office for corneal staining, the presence of dead cells on the eye. Volunteers then wore a pair of the contacts for one to two hours and were examined again.
Sindt, also the director of UIHC’s contact-lens service, said the lenses soaked in MoistureLoc produced an “unusual” amount of staining, named because of a dye’s adherence to dead cells.
She immediately expressed her concern with Bausch & Lomb’s public-relations director, who told her he was certain the solution had undergone appropriate studies and had passed. When the director, Fred Edmunds, said the company had not conducted tests that could measure corneal damage over time, she urged him to do so.

Cooper Tire Under Fire

It’s bad enough the company has been accused of manufacturing defective tires that have led to serious injury and fatalities. It’s quite another when that same company uses deceptive practices to hide such information to protect itself from a lawsuit. According to an article published in the St. Petersburg Times
At least 21 lawsuits involving 12 deaths have been filed against Cooper Tire in Florida since 2000. They are among dozens nationwide that claim Cooper tires separated at high speeds.
Last week, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration initiated a defect investigation into one line of Cooper tires – the Dominator Sport A/T. (The Florida lawsuits involve other models.)
But it’s Cooper Tire’s tactics to win lawsuits that have drawn attention: hiring private investigators to pick up tire tread evidence at accident scenes; aggressively pursuing gag orders and sanctions against attorneys; and sealing documents, claiming they contain trade secrets.
A South Carolina judge wrote in one case that Cooper had engaged in “misrepresentations, concealment, and disobedience” in the discovery process.

New Boss (Hopefully) Not the Same as the Old Boss

As the Diocese of Venice, which includes Sarasota, prepares to welcome a new bishop, we can only hope that this new prelate will deal with the scourge of sexual abuse more openly and honestly than his predecessor, Most. Rev. John Nevins. Nevins has a long history of transferring, covering up, and protecting abusive priests. In fact, in one notorious case, he set up the offending priest with money and a new job in Ireland! Time for him to retire and depart.

Catholic Church in Florida Suffers Another Setback

This past week it was revealed in the press that a Catholic priest from India serving in the Panhandle has been charged with sexual abuse of a minor. The Diocese responded that nothing untoward had been revealed in its background check of the priest. Of course, nothing was revealed since so few of these tragic cases are ever prosecuted in court. Clergy sex abuse can only be stopped when the crimes are brought out in the light of a courtroom.

Catholic Dioceses in Florida Choose to Settle Rather than Fight

Last week, the Diocese of Orlando and the Archdiocese of Miami settled claims against them by victims of clergy abuse. The settlements involved priests who’ve been notorious abusers in the past. Unfortunately, the patterns and policies of cover-up and deception were never revealed as a result of these settlements. Since the beginning of the year, I have been successful in winning three Motions to Dismiss filed by the Church and her lawyers. This means that in these three instances the victims are going to be able to proceed with their claims in a courtroom, at least for now.

FDA Asked to Improve Oversight of Drug Studies

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a plea to the FDA to tighten its monitoring of promised studies by drug companies. According to a Wall St. Journal story, “The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t know the status of many postapproval studies promised by drug makers and doesn’t make tracking them a top priority, a report released Friday said.The inspector general at the Department of Health and Human Services said the FDA should improve its monitoring of the studies by upgrading its tracking systems and asking manufacturers to provide better information.”

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Effectiveness of Ford Firestone Tire Recall Questioned

A research group has called into question the 2000-01 Firestone tire recall. Safety Research & Strategies has noted instances in which some defective tires may still be in circulation. The group has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to investigate the effectiveness of the recall in the wake of four serious auto accidents caused by defective tires. Thus far, the NHTSA has not commented whether or not it will conduct such an investigation.