Tagged Articles

disability 49 articles

FDA takes bold move, orders studies on metal hip implants

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is exercising its broadest level of authority to conduct studies of metal-on-metal hip replacement systems to determine if the type of artificial hip implant is shedding metal debris, causing painful soft tissue damage from a type of blood poisoning known as metallosis. The study will look at this and other issues with this category of implants, which includes about 20 manufacturers. The announcement comes less than a year after DePuy Orthopaedics, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, announced a recall of about 93,000 metal-on-metal hip replacement systems because the devices were failing at a higher ... Read More

Huge $212 million verdict in Botox brain damage case

A California man who suffered brain damage from a Botox injection was awarded $212 million from Allergan, the manufacturer of Botox. Botox, or botulinum toxin, is a protein that is extremely neurotoxic. The injection is used for various cosmetic and medical procedures. As a cosmetic aid, it is FDA-approved to reduce the appearance of wrinkles on the face. As a medical treatment, Botox is used to treat muscle pain and upper motor neuron disorders, excessive sweating, and chronic headaches. Douglas Ray, 67, received the injection of Botox in 2007 to treat a hand tremor and writer’s cramp, but instead suffered severe ... Read More

Timely tips help promote workplace safety

It is the mission of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which is a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to provide national and world leadership to prevent work-related illness, injury, disability and death. One way the organization works to accomplish this mission is to provide a variety of timely publications that provide valuable information about workplace hazards, and guidelines to help workers stay safe. Two recent publications span a broad spectrum. The first, published in December 2010, is an Alert titled “Preventing Injuries and Deaths from Skid-Steer Loaders.” This publication is aimed ... Read More

Woman files lawsuit over defective hip replacement system

Just months after Jacqueline Lum had an artificial hip joint surgically implanted in her left hip, she began having problems. The constant pain and disability has her walking with a cane. “It hurts to sleep at night,” she told News Now. “I need to take medications so it can help take the pain away.” What has Lum even more pained is that 15 months after going through hip replacement surgery, she will once again go under the knife, this time to replace the artificial joint system with another. What Lum learned is that her hip replacement system was defective. The ... Read More

AIG’s self indulgence linked to Unum’s former CEO

Remember the $165 million in bonuses that American International Group (AIG) awarded to its executives after accepting more than $170 billion in federal bailout money? Those bonuses, which have become a symbol of corporate greed and self-indulgence in the eyes of many Americans, were approved by former Unum CEO James F. Orr. Orr is now an AIG director and serves as chairman of its “executive compensation committee.” Now several owners of AIG stock, including the leaders of big union and pension funds, are requesting the removal of Orr from AIG’s directorship. The stock owners made their appeal to the three AIG ... Read More

Denying disability may be just one of Unum’s profitability tricks

Barron’s ran an article this month that claimed the disability insurer Unum “may be casting its numbers in an overly rosy light” in an effort to appear profitable and attract investors. The article, which can be read here, casts doubt about Unum’s reported health: “To hear company officials tell it, Unum Group is emphatically on the mend, this after the disability insurer was wracked by scandal and losses earlier in the decade.” Lawsuits against the insurance giant began almost immediately after its merger in 1999. Unum (formerly named UnumProvident) was formed by the merger of Portland, Maine’s Unum and Chattanooga, ... Read More

Native Americans face discrimination applying for disability

Columnist Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota and founder of three newspapers, recently wrote a heartbreaking piece about Andy Torres, a fellow Sioux who had served his country faithfully for many years, only to have his country turn its back on him when he became injured and needed help. I read Giago’s column about Torres in the Native American Times. First, some background. Torres, obviously, is a Native American. As a Sioux Indian, he is a member of a people whose land and culture, so rich with ancient wisdom and vibrant traditions, has been trampled over by generations of new Americans. ... Read More

Unum second on list of the worst American insurance companies

The American Association for Justice (AAJ) recently ranked Unum number two in its published list of Ten Worst Insurance Companies in America. The report opens with an overview of the insurance industry’s staggering assets and wealth, which amount to just under $4 trillion – higher than the gross domestic product of every country in the world except for the U.S. and Japan. But despite the riches, despite the $1 trillion in annual premiums, and despite enormous profit margins, many insurance companies continue to employ “Deny, Delay, Defend” strategies in dealing with their policyholders. “Some companies have discovered that they can ... Read More

UnumProvident federal trial in progress

UnumProvident’s trial has begun in federal court in Boston. The insurance conglomerate has been accused of fraudulently sticking the federal government with several million dollars in disability claims. Some of the allegations made against the UnumProvident include an apparent cost-cutting scheme in which the company directed its claimants to file for Social Security disability insurance benefits first, knowing that they were completely unqualified for such benefits. Claimants who failed to follow this procedure by not filing a claim with Social Security first had their benefits cut. Eligibility for Social Security disability is much more narrowly defined and harder to receive ... Read More