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Jury slaps J&J with landmark $4.69 billion verdict in latest talc trial

A St. Louis jury deliberated less than a full day before slapping Johnson & Johnson with a $4.69 billion verdict for knowingly selling asbestos-tainted talcum powder products to consumers. They said the company is to blame for giving a group of 22 women cancer, six of whom died before the case went to trial. The case, tried in the St. Louis Circuit Court, is the latest alleging talcum powder contains the carcinogen asbestos and can cause consumers to develop cancer. Some lawsuits claim that regular use led to the development of mesothelioma, a form of cancer that develops in the ... Read More

Tennessee Boy’s Hot Car Death The 23rd in U.S. This Year

A 3-year-old Tennessee boy who became locked inside a hot car Monday, July 10, has died of heat-related illness. The boy’s grandmother, who is also his guardian, told authorities that a teenager had been babysitting the boy and several others at a neighbor’s house where she had been mowing the lawn, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office reported, according to ABC News. When the grandmother finished mowing the lawn, she and the babysitter realized the boy was missing. They found him locked inside a 2006 Honda Accord parked at the home. Authorities say the boy had been locked inside the car ... Read More

Record Opioid Fraud Sweep Charges 600

More than 600 doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals have been charged with health care fraud as part of the U.S. government’s ongoing efforts to beat back the growing opioid epidemic. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the charges announced June 28 comprise “the nation’s largest-ever health care fraud takedown.” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the opioid epidemic “the deadliest drug epidemic in the history of this country.” The epidemic killed about 64,000 people by addiction and overdose in 2016. The potent opioid painkiller fentanyl was the leading cause of most addiction and overdose cases. The 601 people ... Read More

Babies born addicted to opioids won’t get separate track in MDL

Babies born addicted to opioids after being exposed to the drugs in their mothers’ wombs will not get a separate track in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) blaming opioid manufacturers, distributors and pharmacies of fueling the opioid epidemic, the Ohio federal judge overseeing the litigation ruled. Attorneys representing the so-called opioid babies argued in May that their clients deserved a special track in the MDL to address their special medical needs, such as long-term cognitive impairments. But U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster denied the request. The complicated multidistrict litigation includes various local governments as well as Native American tribes, each ... Read More

AbbVie, Besins fined for delaying generic versions of AndroGel

AbbVie Inc., and its affiliate Bensons Healthcare were ordered to pay $448 million for allegedly reaping more than $1 billion in profits after filing sham lawsuits to keep competitors from launching generic versions of the companies’ top selling testosterone replacement therapy AndroGel. The companies filed patent lawsuits against Teva Pharmaceuticals USA and Perrigo Co., which were later ruled baseless by U.S. District Judge Harvey Bartle. If not for AbbVie and Besins’ efforts, Perrigo could have entered the market in June 2013 with its own generic version of AndroGel. “The patent attorneys also clearly recognized that the entry of generic versions ... Read More

Whistleblower Key in Recovering $8.5 Million from Tennessee Hospice Provider

A Tennessee hospice provider will pay the U.S. $8.5 million plus interest to settle a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a former nurse who claimed the company defrauding Medicare and Medicaid with false claims. The settlement resolves allegations lodged against Caris Healthcare L.P. by whistleblower Barbara Hinkle, a registered nurse who formerly worked for the hospice provider.  Ms. Hinkle sued Caris on behalf of the U.S. government under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee, which helped prosecute the case, Caris sought and admitted patients into its hospice ... Read More

British women at risk for talc-related cancer

Thousands of middle-aged British women could have a deadly form of cancer caused by regular genital use of talcum powder for feminine hygiene during their teens, a U.K. attorney warned. “It’s a massive scandal and is only going to get bigger,” he told MailOnline. The solicitor referenced recent litigation in the United States where consumers have sued manufacturers of talc-containing products alleging regular and long-term of the products have caused ovarian cancer or asbestos-related mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and other internal organs. In one such case, a New Jersey ... Read More

Ikea faces another toddler death lawsuit

Eighteen months after Ikea paid $50 million to settle three wrongful death lawsuits involving its dressers tipping onto toddlers, the popular furniture manufacturer is facing yet another lawsuit involving the same issue. Joleen and Craig Dudek of Buena Park, California, are suing Ikea U.S. Retail LLC in Pennsylvania state court in Philadelphia County, alleging they were not adequately warned by the company that its Malm dressers could tip over. On May 24, 2017, Craig Dudek says he found his 2-year-old son pinned between the drawers of a Malm dresser that had fallen on top of him. Craig started CPR, which ... Read More

Family wants dangerous toilet trainer recalled

The parents of a little boy who suffered permanent damage when his penis became stuck on sharp plastic of a toilet-training product are suing the manufacturer and the retailer that sold them the product, arguing that the companies knew about the defect but failed to recall the toilet seat. Natalie and Yosef Belkin filed the putative class action against Target Corp. and juvenile product maker Prince Lionheart Inc., claiming their son’s “near genital dismemberment” was caused by a sharp plastic on the underside of the “pee shield” seat of the weePOD Basix toilet trainer. Target and Prince Lionheart are still ... Read More

Mistrial called after mesothelioma victim dies

Ilene Brick lived a full life, but at the age of 94 she received a horrific diagnosis: mesothelioma, a rare but deadly form of cancer that affects the lining of internal organs, like the lungs. The disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral made up of microscopic fibers found in many building and industrial materials. It can take 10 to 50 years for the disease to develop. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma typically kills within 12 to 24 months. Ilene was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma, which affects the lining of the lungs. How could ... Read More