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Man sickened by benzene exposure wins fight for compensation

When Mitch LaPrade was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) in 2005 at the age of 44, he was floored. “My wife and I were always trying to figure out, where do you get that? We didn’t even know what leukemia was,” he told CBC. Then his doctor asked about the solvents LaPrade used to clean the presses working as a pre-press technologist at a printing plant in Ontario. Benzene is a known carcinogen, and has been linked to various forms of leukemia. LaPrade said he was never given protective clothing like gloves or masks while on the job. When ... Read More

Invokana sales fall after amputation warnings

When the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced in March 2017 that it was requiring Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals to add a boxed warning – the strongest warning required by the FDA – to the labels of its type 2 diabetes medication Invokana regarding an increased risk of amputations in users, some doctors and hospital-affiliated medical groups rushed to take patients off the drug. Amputation is already a risk for diabetics. Why worsen the odds? The FDA Safety Communication informed consumers that leg and foot amputations occurred about twice as often in patients taking Invokana than ... Read More

Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Melons Grows

A melon recall triggered by a multistate outbreak of Salmonella-related illnesses has been expanded to include 10 additional states, bringing the total number of states affected by the outbreak to 23, according to federal health officials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said the recall encompasses pre-cut watermelon, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and fruit salads containing one or more of those melons produced and distributed by Caito Foods of Indianapolis, Indiana. Alabama, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Tennessee have been added to the list of states where the melon may be contaminated with salmonella, the ... Read More

AbbVie accused of misusing plaintiff profile forms in testosterone MDL

Attorneys representing consumers in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) accusing testosterone treatment manufacturers of failing to warn that their products carried cardiovascular risks asked an Illinois federal judge to fine AbbVie Inc., nearly a half million dollars for misusing a records-collecting process to challenge almost 1,000 cases. The plaintiffs’ attorneys told U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly that AbbVie, maker of the top-selling AndroGel testosterone replacement therapy, was improperly using the plaintiff profile forms in an attempt to have the cases dismissed. As a result, the plaintiffs’ steering committee has spent tremendous time and effort to respond to the drug company’s issues. ... Read More

Wells Fargo Wasn’t the Only Bank to Open Unauthorized Customer Accounts

Wells Fargo wasn’t an outlier when it opened 3.5 million unauthorized customer accounts. Federal regulators found that dozens of other banks opened nearly 10,000 deposit and loan accounts for customers without their consent. The new banking fraud revelation came in testimony given by U.S. Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) Joseph Otting before the Senate Banking Committee June 14. Although the number of newly discovered fraudulent accounts is miniscule in comparison to the 3.5 million bogus accounts Wells Fargo bankers opened for customers, it points to the need for banks to put better safeguards in place. According to USA Today, banking ... Read More

Woman fights to revive putative class action against J&J

A woman asked the Third Circuit to revive her putative class action lawsuit against consumer healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson, arguing that she would not have bought the company’s talcum powder if she had known it could put her at risk for developing ovarian cancer. Plaintiff Mona Estrada hasn’t developed cancer, but claims she suffered economic damages because she never received the “benefit of the bargain” when she purchased Johnson’s Baby Powder through the years. Estrada filed the lawsuit in April 2014 against Johnson & Johnson in California federal court, but the case was dismissed in March 2015 because she ... Read More

Texas Man Claims Benzene Exposures At Work Caused Blood Disorder

A Texas man who alleges benzene exposure on the job left him with a serious blood disorder has filed a lawsuit against several petrochemical companies and other manufacturers he worked with for several years. Jack Turner and his wife Betty are seeking compensatory and punitive damages for Mr. Turner’s “consciousness of impending death,” the SE TexasRecord reports. Mr. Turner suffers from Myelodysplastic Syndrome, a form of blood disorder marked by poorly formed and/or malfunctioning blood cells. Exposure to benzene over a long period of time, even in low doses, can result in Myelodysplastic Syndrome and various other blood disorders which ... Read More

Opioid epidemic expected to impact US for ‘generations’

Opioids are responsible for 20 percent of deaths among young adults, according to a new study published in JAMA Network Open. The study, conducted by researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, found that the opioid epidemic is taking a significant toll on young adults in the U.S. between the ages of 24 and 35. In fact, opioid overdoses are killing one in five of them – a 292 percent increase since 2001. “Despite the amount of attention that has been placed on this public health issue, we are increasingly seeing the devastating impact that early loss of life ... Read More

AbbVie faces more lawsuits in testosterone MDL

AbbVie Inc., prevailed in the latest bellwether trial accusing the company’s testosterone treatment AndroGel of causing heart attacks, strokes and blood clots, but AbbVie and other testosterone manufacturers still face thousands more lawsuits consolidated in a multidistrict litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. This is the third of five bellwether trials that have been won by testosterone makers. The other two have resulted in a total of $143 million in verdicts for the plaintiffs. The latest trial involved the case of Rober Rowley who was prescribed AndroGel in 2012 to treat fatigue. Years earlier, ... Read More

Explosions Make E-Cigarettes Too Risky For Many Insurers

Are e-cigarettes and other products in the bustling vaping market too risky for insurance carriers? A recent report by Insurance Business America suggests so. When e-cigarettes and other vaping products emerged in the U.S. in 2007, insurance carriers eagerly embraced this new market for its growth potential and promising revenue source. But as e-cigarettes and other vaping devices exploded, causing serious burn injuries and other harm to vapers, “the great fire of interest quickly whittled down to a few smoldering embers,” Insurance Business America reported. Although other factors have played a role, the risk of e-cigarette explosions and serious physical ... Read More