Beasley Allen has one of the largest and most technologically advanced Mass Torts practices in the country. The Mass Torts division represents numerous people in claims against companies that manufacture and/or market defective pharmaceuticals and/or medical devices. The resources devoted to this division allow the firm to competently and conscientiously handle any group of cases, no matter how large, along with particular catastrophic injury cases.
Our firm was recently involved in one of the greatest victories in Mass Torts history, against drug manufacturer Merck regarding the drug Vioxx. After more than five years of hard-fought and difficult litigation, Merck agreed to pay $4.85 billion, the largest pharmaceutical settlement in U.S. history, to resolve certain Vioxx-related claims involving plaintiffs who suffered a heart attack, including sudden cardiac death, or a stroke.
Opioid use disorder (OUD) in pregnant women remains a serious concern among public health officials, who continue to fight fraud and abuse associated with the potent painkillers. Now a new study shows that the number of pregnant women with opioid abuse disorder more than quadrupled between 1999 and 2014. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the alarming trend, published Aug. 9 in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, was measured in pregnant mothers at the time of labor and delivery. Researchers used medical data from the 28 states that keep the records relevant to the ... Read More
A new rule under the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) legally allows manufacturers in the U.S. to make construction-related products using the highly carcinogenic mineral asbestos. The agency’s Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) allows new products containing asbestos to be manufactured on a case-by-case basis. A new EPA report released in May details the agency’s new framework for evaluating the risk of substances. As a result, the EPA will no longer consider the effects or presence of substances like asbestos in the air, ground or water when it conducts risk assessments. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that is both strong and ... Read More
The list of blood pressure drugs recalled because they may contain a cancer-causing impurity has been expanded to include nearly five dozen products from 12 different pharmaceutical companies. On July 13, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first announced a recall of certain valsartan tablets because they were found to contain a chemical known a N-nitrocodimethylamine (NDMA) in levels that exceeded those considered acceptable for public safety. The chemical, which is sometimes found in water supplies and food, is classified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a probable human carcinogen – something that can increase the risk of cancer ... Read More
The state of Nebraska not only carried out its first execution in 21 years, it also was the first death sentence in the country to be carried out using the potent opioid fentanyl. Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid and the most common drug involved in fatal overdoses in the United States, according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and is typically used to treat severe pain after surgery and chronic pain in patients who are physically tolerant to other opioids. Fentanyl misuse and abuse is a ... Read More
The $4.69 billion judgment against Johnson & Johnson over claims that its talcum powder products contain asbestos and caused women to develop ovarian cancer has the insurance industry in a tizzy wondering how much of the cost insurance companies will have to shoulder. “The J&J news prompted us to revisit this topic,” Buckingham Research Group analyst Amit Kumar told Reuters. He brought up the issue during W.R. Berkley Corp’s recent call. “I wanted to get a sense as to whether this is going to turn into a bigger deal and catch us by surprise.” Since the verdict, analysts have tapped talc ... Read More
Parents shopping for school supplies should be aware that some back-to-school items may contain or emit toxic ingredients or fumes, according to a new report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Asbestos fibers have been found embedded in the wax of some crayon brands, and some dry erase markers tested positive for carcinogenic BTEX chemicals, like benzene, xylene and toluene. In 2015, PIRG testing of many major brands of crayons revealed several – including Rose Art and Crayola – contained asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that has been linked to lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare ... Read More
A St. Louis jury hit Johnson & Johnson with a $4.69 billion verdict after finding that the company knew its talcum powder products contained asbestos that contributed to ovarian cancer in the 22 women who filed the complaint. But the company will hardly feel the financial blow. Last week, J&J announced sales of $20.8 billion for the second quarter of 2018 – a 10.6 percent increase compared to the second quarter f 2017. And yes, that’s a quarter of sales. Just one-fourth of the year. “Our strong second-quarter results reflect double-digit growth in our Pharmaceutical business and the accelerating sales momentum ... Read More
President Donald Trump repeatedly promised to take serious action on the opioid epidemic on the campaign trail and as president, but what has he to show for it, Sen. Elizabeth Warren asked President Donald Trump in a new letter. “Experts and observers have concluded that your efforts to address the opioid crisis are ‘pathetic’ and ‘ambiguous promises’ that are ‘falling far short of what is needed’ and are ‘not … addressing the epidemic with the urgency it demands.’” Warren wrote. “I agree and I urge you to move quickly to address these problems.” In October 2017, Trump directed the Department ... Read More
Fewer men in the United States are using testosterone replacement therapy following a stark decrease from 2013 to 2016 over concerns with over-prescribing and health risks, according to researchers with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Testosterone treatments, including AbbVie’s Androgel, were heavily touted by drug companies as cure-alls for so-called Low T, a contrived condition caused by an age-related drop in testosterone levels that leads to symptoms such as low sex drive, weight gain, muscle loss and fatigue. The ad campaign resulted in hundreds of thousands of prescriptions for the male hormone supplement. Testosterone replacement therapies are ... Read More
Cesium chloride, a mineral salt used as an alternative treatment for cancer, has been linked to serious heart problems and deaths, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) alerted health care professionals. Patients treated with cesium have suffered serious reactions including QT prolongation (a type of irregular heartbeat), low potassium, seizures, potentially deadly heart rhythm arrhythmia, fainting, cardiac arrest, and death. Most of the cases involved patients taking cesium to treat cancer, three of which were published in professional journals in 2018 and involved patients with advanced cancer. Cesium is not approved by the FDA to treat cancer or any other ... Read More