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Six states sue OxyContin maker for exacerbating opioid epidemic

Six states have filed new lawsuits against Purdue Pharma, accusing the company of using deceptive marketing to increase sales, causing overdose deaths and economic damages while fanning the flames of the nation’s opioid epidemic. The lawsuits were filed by the attorneys general of Texas, Florida, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Tennessee, and accuse Purdue – makers of the powerful opioid OxyContin – of overstating the benefits of the drug while downplaying the risks, including its high addiction potential. The states seek significant penalties and measures to stop future harm to citizens and communities. “My office is holding Purdue Pharma ... Read More

Governments Clash in Ride the Ducks Bus Crash Dispute

A Ride the Ducks amphibious bus crash that killed five people and injured 69 others in Seattle three years ago has triggered another legal dispute between the city of Seattle and the state of Washington. Since the Sept. 24, 2015 crash, city and state attorneys have been clashing in court over who is legally responsible for the safe operation of the Aurora Avenue Bridge, a six-lane bridge with three lanes each for northbound and southbound traffic. The city previously filed a motion asking a King County judge to release it from responsibility for the lack of a barrier to separate ... Read More

Did Your Facebook Data Outlive Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica may be dead, but the data it acquired from millions of Facebook users probably lives on, somewhere, in some form. An estimated 87 million or more Facebook users had their personal information harvested by Cambridge Analytica, the U.K.-based political consultancy firm linked to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, which used the scraped data to steer votes, potentially influencing the 2016 U.S. elections and the Brexit vote. Although Cambridge Analytica shut down amid the scandal and claims it deleted all of the Facebook user data, there is plenty of evidence indicating that derivatives of the Facebook data continue to exist ... Read More

Xarelto victims ask appeals court to vacate decisions of first three trials

Plaintiffs in three bellwether trials involving bleeding risks with the blood thinner Xarelto that resulted in wins for the defendants have asked an appeals court to vacate the decisions arguing that the judge overseeing the trials improperly excluded key evidence and gave jurors incorrect instructions, The National Law Journal reported. The cases were the first three to go to trial among more than 20,000 pending in a multidistrict litigation in the Eastern District of Louisiana. Plaintiffs accuse Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer of not adequately warning of the risks involved with using Xarelto, including bleeding risks like gastrointestinal ... Read More

Judge overseeing opioid MDL orders DEA to share information on opioid sales

The Ohio federal judge overseeing the massive multidistrict litigation involving local governments accusing pharmaceutical companies, drug distributors and pharmacies of fueling the opioid epidemic laid out timelines for an active litigation phase to work through difficult legal issues in order to expedite a settlement in the case. The Judge also directed the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to pony up information about the sales of opioids, something the DEA has been reluctant to do. In addition to the two orders, U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster also consolidated three lawsuits in the MDL brought by Ohio local governments and scheduled them ... Read More

Second Xarelto side effects trial underway in PA

Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer failed to warn doctors about the significantly increased risk of internal bleeding their blood thinner Xarelto posed to patients who were also taking other antiplatelet medications, attorneys for a man suing the companies said during opening arguments in the second trial in a mass tort program in Philadelphia County. In 2013, Plaintiff Daniel Russell had a stent placed to treat a blocked coronary artery. He also had an irregular heartbeat. At that time, he was prescribed two anti-platelet medications, aspirin and Plavix, to prevent blood clots. Soon after, his heart was shocked back ... Read More

Jury to decide whether J&J talc caused man’s mesothelioma

For years, Johnson & Johnson hid from consumers the fact its talcum powder products contained asbestos by using tests that wouldn’t detect the cancer-causing mineral, according to attorneys for a man suing the consumer health care company over claims the products caused him to develop mesothelioma. Stephen Lanzo III claims that he used Johnson & Johnson products daily – including Johnson’s Baby Powder – for about 40 years, never knowing that the talcum powder contained asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral often found in talc. When inhaled, it can cause malignant mesothelioma, a rare but deadly cancer that affects the lining ... Read More

Last witness testifies in Bard IVC filter trial

The last witness took the stand in a bellwether trial accusing C.R. Bard Inc., of selling a blood clot-catching medical device it knew was defective and capable of seriously injuring people. Chad Modra, a former quality-assurance exective at Bard Peripheral Vascular (BPV) and current Staff Vice President of Operations at Bard, defended his company’s internal complaint-receiving procedures and agreed with defense attorneys that Bard’s methods for handling safety data were “highly regulated by the FDA.” But when plaintiffs attorneys asked about a warning letter BPV received in July 2015, Modra said his team considered the issues raised in the letter ... Read More

AbbVie faces fourth testosterone side effects trial

AbbVie Inc. will continue to use deceptive practices to market its testosterone replacement therapy AndroGel unless it is sent a firm message and faces financial pressure, say attorneys for a man who blames his heart attack on the drug. The jury in the fourth bellwether trial against AbbVie in a multidistrict litigation heard testimony alleging testosterone manufacturers did not adequately warn of cardiovascular risks with their testosterone treatments. Jesse Mitchell’s case was the first to go to trial and accuse AbbVie of failing to warn that AndroGel could increase the risk of heart attacks, strokes and blood clots, some of ... Read More

Shell Ordered To Pay $5 MillionTo Benzene-Polluted Community

Benzene can have a devastating impact on human health over the long term, especially to workers who are exposed to even the smallest levels of it. But the chemical can also have an extremely toxic effect on communities in proximity to oil and gas refineries, as a recent $5 million federal case shows. U.S. Judge Nancy Rosenstengel ordered Shell Oil and ConocoPhillips to settle a class action Feb. 23 brought by hundreds of people living in and around the city of Roxana, Illinois., a community just across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri. The claimants alleged that the companies ... Read More