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Access to justice: Bills To Strip Citizens of Rights to Sue Corporations Introduced to House

American justice series

House Republicans have introduced a series of new bills that threaten access to justice, aiming to make it very difficult, and in some cases impossible, for an American citizen to sue a corporation, even in cases of serious injury and death. House Resolution 985, the so-called “Fairness in Class Action Litigation” Act, is one of two proposed laws that could effectively dismantle citizens’ rights to hold companies accountable under the law. The bill introduces several new restrictions and qualifications that take aim at class actions by fettering them with complications, such as barring judges from certifying class actions if any ... Read More

Number of drug side effects reports skyrocketing in recent years

pills

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) received a record number of adverse event reports about drug side effects and problematic medical devices for 2015, representing a fivefold increase since 2004, according to an analysis by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and MedPage Today. In 2004, 206,000 drug or medical device adverse events were reported to the FDA. In 2015, that number jumped to 1.5 million. Reports ranged from mild effects such as gas and flatulence to serious injuries and death. Most of the side effects reported involved drugs that treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, a type of cancer, and ... Read More

Court Revives Nursing Home Whistleblower Retaliation Claims

whistleblower retaliation

A federal appeals court has upheld a lower court’s dismissal of a nursing home employee’s False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuit under the first-to-file rule but has reinstated his claim that he was terminated in retaliation for speaking out against alleged billing fraud. According to Business Insurance, Patrick Gerard Carson sued Toledo, Ohio-based Manor Care Inc. on behalf of the U.S. government in September 2011, alleging that the company was fraudulently overcharging the federal Medicare program for patient care. Mr. Carson also claims that Manor Care terminated him in November 2009 in retaliation for his repeated complaints about the alleged fraudulent ... Read More

CA judge certifies class action against Costco, dietary supplement maker

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A California federal judge found grounds to certify a class action lawsuit alleging dietary supplement maker NBTY Inc. and Costco Wholesale Corp. misled consumers into thinking a ginkgo biloba supplement could improve mental alertness and memory. U.S. District Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo certified the class of California residents who bought TruNature Ginkgo Bilboa with Vinpocetine, finding that the allegedly false statements the two companies made about the health benefits of the dietary supplement were enough to lure consumers into buying the products. Judge Bencivengo also noted that during the class period, Costco sold more than 1 million units of TruNature ... Read More

Alopecia: what causes it, what to expect, and how to pursue treatment

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MSN Health and Fitness recently addressed two types of hair loss that affect women, what causes it, what to expect, and how to pursue treatment. “Given that a woman’s hair can feel pretty central to her femininity, it beginning to drop out without warning can be hugely distressing for those affected,” the health news site said. Alopecia areata was explained by Dr. Jemma Batte, a doctor at Bupa UK, as “caused by an overactive immune system, which can start targeting your healthy cells. The immune system targets the cells in your skin where your hair grows, making it weaker and causing ... Read More

Benzene Lawsuit draws attention to exposure dangers in tire manufacturing industry

Benzene

Two days after marrying his wife Anita, Paul Manny landed a job at Uniroyal in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, as a tire analyst, testing tires under varying weights and speeds as part of his job description. Paul, as well as many other workers at the time, used gasoline as a degreaser to clean up at work. Many aspects of Paul’s job concerned Anita. “I worried about him,” she said. When Paul was discovered to have an enlarged spleen, more tests were ordered. His diagnosis was polycythemia vera, a slow-forming blood cancer affecting the bone marrow. “I didn’t know it would cause this,” Anita ... Read More

Longer opioid treatments lead to greater chance of abuse

World of Pain

About a quarter of people prescribed an opioid for 12 days – and nearly half given a month’s supply – will still be using the powerful painkiller a year later, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study emphasizes the strong addictive effect opioids have on people, and is a driving force behind the growing prescription drug epidemic in the U.S. Researchers reviewed prescription data for almost 1.3 million non-cancer patients who were prescribed opioids such as Vicodin and OxyContin, from 2006 to 2015, and sorted out individuals who were first prescribed opioids ... Read More

Resolution Repealing OSHA’s worker Injury Recordkeeping Requirements Passes House

Working on the Wall

A resolution that seeks to repeal an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rule clarifying the responsibilities of large employers in the most dangerous industries to keep complete and accurate worker injury records has cleared the House and is now under review by the Senate. The OSHA clarifying rule under attack, writes Debbie Berkowitz, former chief of staff and senior OSHA adviser, “does not impose any new costs or obligations on employers, nor does it affect small businesses. The rule only covers larger employers in the most dangerous industries. This rule does not kill jobs, it prevents jobs from killing ... Read More

Heart device linked to increased risk of heart attack, death

heartbeat

Patients with Absorb GT1 Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) are at greater risk of having a major cardiac event compared to patients treated with the metallic XIENCE drug-eluting stent, according to a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Safety Communication. The BVS is used to open heart blood vessels (coronary arteries) blocked by scar tissue (plaque) in order to increase blood flow to the heart muscle. The BVS is implanted during an angioplasty procedure and gradually dissolves and is fully absorbed by the body over time. The FDA’s initial review of data from a pivitol clinical trial involving the BVS showed an ... Read More

Admitting Guilt For Its Emissions Cheat Shows VW Lied, Investors Claim

VW consumer fraud

Volkswagen AG investors in a proposed class against the German automaker are seeking a partial summary judgment on certain claims involving the auto manufacturer’s emissions cheat, arguing the company acknowledged when it pleaded guilty to civil and criminal charges that it made false statements with intent to mislead. “Having accepted criminal liability for knowingly and fraudulently misrepresenting the ‘clean diesel’ vehicles’ ‘environmental friendliness,’ and emissions compliance, VW AG cannot credibly dispute that it misrepresented those same facts to investors, and did so with [full knowledge],” the investors claim, adding that “Discovery and further litigation on these undisputed points would be ... Read More