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.
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.
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.
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.
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.