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claims 1132 articles

Judge rules $2 million verdict stands against transvaginal mesh maker

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A federal judge denied a mistrial and left intact a $2 million jury verdict against medical device manufacturer C. R. Bard Inc., in a bellwether trial over claims that its transvaginal mesh implant was defective and caused serious injuries. U.S. District Judge Joseph R. Goodwin said the motion stood because the company had not proven a miscarriage of justice. However, Goodwin also did not find unconstitutional a provision in Georgia’s Tort Reform Act of 1987 that requires product liability plaintiffs to give up 75 percent of their punitive damage earnings to the state. This comes as a blow to plaintiffs Donna and ... Read More

$2.1 million Medicare fraud scheme leads to imprisonment of Michigan physician

Pills - Stethoscope on Money

Michigan physician Dr. Paula Williamson was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay roughly $1.3 million in restitution due to her involvement in a $2.1 million Medicare fraud scheme. The Department of Justice (DOJ) reports that Williamson conspired with the owner of AMB Healthcare Inc., a home health care agency located in Michigan. In order for AMB to bill Medicare for its home health care services, the company would have to receive a physician’s referral. The DOJ says Williamson regularly falsified medical documentation on behalf of her co-conspirator, as well as certified Medicare beneficiaries as homebound, despite ... Read More

Fund requested to manage awards paid to women injured by transvaginal mesh

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Women from more than 100 lawsuits in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) alleging injuries caused by Johnson & Johnson unit Mentor Corp.’s defective transvaginal mesh implant asked a Georgia federal judge this week to approve the establishment of a settlement fund trust to resolve their claims. The qualified settlement fund trust would hold, manage and distribute funds in the account under the settlements reached in April for 111 lawsuits in the multidistrict litigation. The trust would also cover additional lawsuits as they resolve. Both the settlements and the total amount in the trust are confidential. The lawsuits allege that Mentor Corp.’s ... Read More

City of Glendive warned of carcinogenic tap water days after oil spill contaminated Yellowstone River

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Days after a crude oil spill contaminated Yellowstone River, an eastern Montana city has just learned a cancer-causing element in oil, known as benzene, is lurking in their drinking water supply. The spill, which occurred last Saturday, was responsible for nearly 50,000 gallons of crude released in the Yellowstone River. A break in a 12-inch pipeline owned by Bridger Pipeline Co. is blamed for the spill. Local officials confirmed heightened levels of benzene were found in samples taken from a water treatment plant responsible for serving fresh drinking water to the city of Glendive, an agricultural community of around 6,000 people near the North ... Read More

Multimillion dollar tax refund fraud includes former IRS employee among those charged


A former Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employee is among those charged with filing false claims in a multimillion dollar tax refund fraud conspiracy. Others charged include an employee of the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and a former New York City Corrections officer. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and IRS announced the indictments Jan. 16. The DOJ says Rodney Chestnut, a retired New York City Department of Corrections officer; Clive Henry, a former IRS employee whose job it was to prepare tax returns; and Nafeesah Hines, a former FDA employee, have been indicted on 20 counts of filing ... Read More

Johnson and Johnson wants victims of transvaginal mesh to prove their injuries

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Johnson & Johnson wants women in a multidistrict litigation alleging defects with the company’s transvaginal mesh device to prove they were injured by the mesh or that they even have the device in the first place. Attorneys for Johnson & Johnson claim that people from fictitious firms are calling women often repeatedly to join the lawsuit against the company in order to reap tens of thousands of dollars in compensation. In some cases, Johnson & Johnson claims, women are being told to lie and say they have been injured by the mesh even if they have never been implanted with ... Read More

Diabetes drug Januvia linked to heart failure hospitalizations

januvia - sitagliptin

An observational study published in the journal JACC Heart Failure raises alarming questions about the type 2 diabetes drug Januvia (sitagliptin) and heart failure. The study involved an analysis of insurance claims from a database of more than 7,600 patients with diabetes and heart failure. Researchers found that people who took Januvia were just as likely as people who did not use Januvia to die or be hospitalized for any reason. However, patients using the drug were more likely to be hospitalized for heart failure. Researchers say the results could impact whether Januvia is prescribed as an add-on therapy for ... Read More

Whistleblower receives $6 million of $39-million Daiichi recovery


A former sales representative of global drug maker Daiichi Sankyo who blew the whistle on the company’s practice of providing illegal kickbacks to boost sales of its drugs will receive more than $6 million for her role in helping expose the alleged fraud. Kathy Fragoules sued Daiichi Sankyo under the False Claims Act, which authorizes private individuals to take legal action on behalf of the U.S. government when they have original first-hand knowledge and credible evidence of fraud committed against federal agencies and programs. According to the whistleblower lawsuit, from 2004 to 2011 Daiichi paid kickbacks to physicians in the ... Read More

Judge OKs new expert in Zoloft birth defects lawsuit

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U.S. District Judge Synthia Rufe ruled that plaintiffs in a multidistrict litigation alleging Zoloft birth defects can introduce a new expert to testify on the association between the antidepressant and cardiac injuries after three others presented by plaintiffs had been excluded by the court for not following proper research methodology. Plaintiffs suing Pfizer will present as a general causation expert witness Nicholas Jewell, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s School of Public Health and its statistics department. Judge Rufe ruled that the evidence Jewell is expected to introduce regarding heart risks with Zoloft are of “critical importance” to the plaintiffs’ ... Read More

FDA warned drug makers that Xarelto ads misled public about risks


A 2013 ad in WebMD promoting the new blood thinner Xarelto (rivaroxaban) by Johnson & Johnson on behalf of Janssen Pharmaceuticals was false or misleading because it minimized the risks associated with the drug thus violating the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, federal drug regulators told the drug makers in a warning letter. “Promotional materials are false or misleading if they fail to present risks associated with a drug with a prominence and readability reasonably comparable with the presentation of information relating to the benefits of the drug,” the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) letter states. “The Print ad ... Read More