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Feinberg Predicts Most VW Vehicle Owners Will Settle Through Compensation Fund


Volkswagen Claims Fund administrator Kenneth Feinberg said he is ready to start compensating owners of VW diesel vehicles affected by the automaker’s emissions cheat, predicting that most all of the nearly 600,000 owners would accept offers from the fund. However, Mr. Feinberg told a German newspaper that his “hands are tied” until VW leaders and U.S. environmental regulators have agreed on a plan to repair the vehicles. Mr. Feinberg has not yet disclosed what options VW owners will be given, as much of what the company offers pivots on an acceptable solution to the emissions cheat, which allows certain diesel ... Read More

Deadly Crane Collapse Prompts NYC To Reassess Construction Safety

NYC crane collapse

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a plan Sunday to improve the safety of crane operations in the city after a crane collapse in Tribeca Friday morning killed a pedestrian and injured several others. Workers with Bay Crane Services, which operates about a quarter of all the cranes in New York City, were in the process of lowering the boom on the 565-foot long structure into the safety position as a precaution against 20 mph winds when the collapse occurred. David Wichs, a 38-year old Harvard graduate and Wall Street worker, was struck and killed by the falling ... Read More

FDA chief nominee Califf faces tough opposition from senators


Dr. Robert Califf’s long-term, significant ties to the pharmaceutical industry prove he would be soft on drug companies pushing new opioid painkillers which, in turn, would worsen the country’s prescription drug abuse epidemic, and for this reason, Califf is unacceptable choice to head the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va. in a written statement. Manchin added he would filibuster the nomination, using that time to read letters from West Virginia families affected by opioid abuse. Califf currently serves as the FDA’s deputy commissioner for medical products and tobacco. His 2014 financial disclosures revealed he had been ... Read More

Should our DNA be used for corporate profit? Human Rights Committee reviews future of Canadian genetic testing


According to CBC News thousands of Canadians are still opting out of genetic testing that could give them valuable information to possibly reduce risks for debilitating or life-threatening illnesses in their own lives, or knowledge that could inform their children’s medical futures. With Canada being the only G7 country with no form of protection against genetic discrimination, its citizens have reason to fear that such tests will be reported to insurance companies, raising premiums or hurting their chances of being eligible for coverage. In some cases, they fear employers requesting this information and that it might compromise their careers. A senate ... Read More

Diabetes drug study prompts change in what doctors prescribe


Three quarters of physicians say they are prescribing more of the type 2 diabetes drug Jardiance to their patients after news that the drug significantly reduced the risk of death in diabetic patients, according to an online poll conducted by Medscape Medical News. Jardiance, manufactured by Boehringer Ingelheim and Eli Lily and Co., is in a class of newer diabetes drugs known as SGLT2 inhibitors. Other brand-name drugs in this class include Invokana and Invokamet, both made by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals. The poll was prompted by a study published last fall in the New England Journal of ... Read More

NHL pushes to dismiss concussion-related lawsuits


The National Hockey League (NHL) says a recent federal court ruling in a lawsuit waged by a former NHL player Derek Boogaard alleging the league did not protect him from concussions should be applied to a year-old motion pending in a Minnesota federal court. The pending motion was filed by the NHL to dismiss similar claims made by a group of retired NHL players whose lawsuits are consolidated in a multidistrict litigation (MDL). Late last year, the NHL successfully argued that claims made by the estate of deceased NHL player Derek Boogaard were preempted by the federal Labor Management Relations Act, and that to ... Read More

Toyota recall announced after reports that side airbags could deploy from the roof; undisclosed injuries

toyota cars

Nearly 320,000 older model Toyota vehicles are now under recall due to the automaker’s discovery of an issue with the vehicle’s airbags. Toyota claims the defective side airbags may deploy from the roof during certain crashes. The following Toyota vehicles are included in this recall:  2003-06 Toyota Land Cruiser, 2004-06 4Runner, 2005-06 Tundra, 2005-06 Sequoia, 2003-06 Lexus LX 470 and 2004-06 Lexus GX 470. The side airbag defect stems from what Toyota refers to as “improper programming in the airbag control modules,” which could result in the airbags and seat belt pretensioners incorrectly triggering in specific situations once the vehicle ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson fights to keep Cherokee Nation’s Risperdal case in federal court


Johnson & Johnson and its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals are asking an Oklahoma federal judge to keep in federal court a lawsuit filed against the companies by the Cherokee Nation over undisclosed side effects with its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The drug companies claim that the rightful plaintiff in the case is not the Cherokee Nation, but a holding company for the tribal businesses, and that the case should remain in federal court on diversity grounds. The Cherokee Nation originally filed the lawsuit in April 2015 in Oklahoma’s Sequoyah County Court seeking restitution for Risperdal the tribe had purchased under the impression ... Read More

Unknown number of 2016 Honda Civics now under ‘stop sale’ recall due to possible engine failure

Honda logo

The 2016 Honda Civics have not been on the roadways long, but Honda already issued a stop sale and safety recall notice for the vehicles equipped with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. According to Autoblog, the recalled Civics can apparently suffer from engine failure early on in their use. The 1.5-liter turbocharged version of the Civic is unaffected by the recall notice. “While the specific details of this action are still being determined, American Honda has provided preliminary information to the [National Highway Traffic Administration] NHTSA and intends to provide more details in a formal notification to NHTSA on Friday, February 5,” ... Read More

Feds find dangerous, unlisted drug ingredients in OTC diet pills

bathroom scale

Lucy’s Weight Loss System of Arlington, Texas, has expanded its recall of diet pills to include all lots of Pink Bikini and Shorts on the Beach capsules in all colors, 30 count, after an analysis found the products to contain potentially dangerous undeclared drug ingredients. Pink Bikini (white capsules, blue capsules and gold capsules) and Shorts of the Beach (blue capsules and gold capsules) were found to contain sibutramine, phenolphthalein and/or diclofenac, which were not listed on the products’ labels. Sibutramine is an appetite suppressant that was sold under the brand name Meridia and pulled from the U.S. market in ... Read More