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Mississippi 292 articles

Hearings for first Xarelto bleeding risks lawsuits expected for early 2017

xarelto

Bellwether cases in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) over alleged injuries with the blood thinner Xarelto are currently being selected and are expected to be heard sometime in early 2017, according to Judge Eldon E. Fallon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. The federal Xarelto MDL consolidates individual actions filed against Xarelto’s manufacturers Johnson & Johnson, its subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Bayer. The lawsuits claim that the drug companies failed to warn that Xarelto could cause an increased risk for gastrointestinal bleeds and brain hemorrhages if taken once daily. Plaintiffs contend Xarelto bleeding risks would be ... Read More

OSHA’s Heat Illness Safety Campaign Focuses On Southern States

OSHA heat app icon

In 2014, 2,630 U.S. workers suffered from heat illness and 18 died from heat stroke and other heat-related related causes on the job. With 2016 set to be even hotter across much of the nation than 2014, federal safety regulators are holding heat illness awareness and training events across the Southeastern states. From June 27 to July 1, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) worked with employers and trade associations to conduct a one-hour “Safety Stand-Down” at construction sites and other workplaces in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. During these Safety Stand Downs, workers ... Read More

Antipsychotic drugs inappropriately prescribed to elderly with dementia

risperdal

Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas prescribe more antipsychotic drugs to nursing home patients than any other state in the U.S., according to a report by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which could have dire consequences for some patients. Antipsychotics are primarily used to manage psychosis. For example, Risperdal, made by Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals, is used to treat symptoms of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability with autism. It is often prescribed for conditions for which it is not approved, such as ADHD and anxiety, and has also been prescribed off-label to elderly patients with dementia and children with ... Read More

U.S. Supreme Court To Review Whistleblower Case Against State Farm

whistleblower

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear an appeal by State Farm Fire and Casualty disputing the outcome of a whistleblower complaint accusing the insurance company of defrauding the federal government by misclassifying Hurricane Katrina damage on the Gulf Coast. The court will review a ruling by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans, which last year upheld a 2013 jury finding in favor of the plaintiffs. Sisters Cori and Kerri Rigsby of Ocean Springs, Miss., filed the lawsuit under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The sisters, who worked for an Alabama contractor hired ... Read More

First Xarelto lawsuits planned for 2017

xarelto

Forty lawsuits among hundreds filed against Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Healthcare alleging serious bleeding risks with the companies’ blood thinner Xarelto have been selected to be part of the bellwether poll, with the first two lawsuits scheduled to begin in early 2017. Attorneys for both the plaintiffs and defendants were charged with identifying 20 cases, with each side permitted to choose 10. The Court added another 20 cases that were randomly chosen based on eligibility requirements. The bellwether approach is often used in situations such as the Xarelto lawsuits, where there are a large number of plaintiffs pursuing ... Read More

Consumer groups push FDA to ban pure caffeine powder as dietary supplement

caffeine powder - photo by WILX news

Consumer interest group, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), is petitioning the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to ban the retail distribution of pure and concentrated caffeine as a dietary supplement claiming the product is lethal even in small doses. Powdered caffeine is readily available online and retail stores, and some people use the product to get a burst of energy. But the product is misleading. A single teaspoon of pure caffeine is roughly the equivalent to the amount in 25 cups of coffee. Even less than that can lead to caffeine overdose, which can cause symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, ... Read More

Jackson, Mississippi, confronting Water Crisis Similar To Flint, Michigan

drinking water

Residents of Jackson, Miss., were stunned by recent disclosures that the city has its own Flint, Michigan-style water crisis, which could be exposing a significant part of the population to dangerous levels of lead. According to the Guardian, high levels of lead in Mississippi’s capital city were discovered in June 2015, yet residents were not warned until February, mimicking the lax response of Michigan and local officials to the water crisis in Flint, Mich., which has poisoned scores of children. Also like Flint, Jackson’s water contamination stems from inadequate corrosion control, which allows lead from pipes in some older homes to ... Read More

FDA cracks down on dietary supplements containing ‘adulterated’ ingredients

pills

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is coming down hard on manufacturers of dietary supplements, hitting five companies with warning letters this week for including “adulterated” dietary ingredients in their products. The companies were targeted for selling a stimulant called acacia rigidula, also known as vachellia rigidula, chaparro prieto or blackbrush. The ingredient wasn’t marketed prior to 1994, making it a “new dietary ingredient” under federal law. The supplement is marketed for weight loss and energy. At least one manufacturer was cited for selling a supplement that contained acacia rigidula that also contained ephedra, a drug the agency banned in ... Read More

Construction Worker Plummets To Death From L.A. High-Rise

Working on the Wall

A construction worker employed on what will soon be the tallest building west of the Mississippi fell 53 stories to his death last Thursday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, striking a car that was traveling on the street at the time. The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) reported that the construction worker, believed to be an electrician, fell at 12:08 p.m. from the Wilshire Grand Center, a hotel and office complex that has been under construction for three years and is nearing completion. A woman traveling in the car that was struck was examined by medical personnel who reported that she ... Read More

Reconstruction project floorplan error leads to Southern Mississippi contractor’s death

Working on the Wall

A floorplan error turned a restaurant reconstruction project into a deathtrap for a Mississippi builder who was crushed while shoring up supports that held an overhead concrete form in place. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) said that 54-year-old builder Gary Berthelot and three workers employed by Great Southern Building Systems were placing additional supports beneath the concrete form when it collapsed onto them. Falling concrete and other debris struck and trapped Mr. Berthelot, a father of four, who had 30 years of construction experience and was the general contractor for the project, which involved rebuilding a restaurant ... Read More