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Virginia 212 articles

Bard on verge of settlement in transvaginal mesh case

transvaginal mesh

C.R. Bard and a woman who claims she was injured by the medical device maker’s defective transvaginal mesh are on the verge of a settlement, just days before the lawsuit was scheduled to go to trial. Debra Wise’s lawsuit was part of a federal multidistrict litigation in West Virginia. The “pending settlement” was signed off on by U.S. District Judge Joseph Goodwin, and the case was ordered off the active docket in the litigation. Wise’s lawsuit was originally filed in West Virginia state court in the Circuit Court of Cabell County before it was transferred to the federal multidistrict litigation. ... Read More

Congressman pushes for hearing on FDA’s role in superbug outbreak

duodenoscope

A congressman whose district includes the UCLA hospital where more than 100 patients were exposed to a drug-resistant superbug is calling for the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform to hold the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) accountable for not taking action sooner when it learned that certain medical devices could spread the dangerous bacteria from patient to patient. Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., who also serves on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, urged his fellow committee members to hold a hearing on the matter, adding that the agency’s recent safety alert failed to adequately provide health care ... Read More

Family of teen infected by superbug at UCLA may sue endocope maker

duodenoscope

A California teenager is in “grave condition” with an antibiotic resistant superbug infection months after undergoing an endoscopic procedure at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, stoking fears that the design of specialized duodenoscopes used on about a half a million patients a year makes them difficult to thoroughly sanitize. Duodenoscopes are flexible fiber-optic tubes fitted with a light and camera that that are inserted down the throat, enabling physicians to examine an organ. Regulators and medical professionals are now learning the devices are can be extremely difficult to disinfect, a potential design flaw that could open the ... Read More

Endoscopes linked to deadly superbug bacteria

duodenoscope

A specialized endoscope, put down about a half million throats each year to treat gallstones, cancers and other digestive system problems, have infected hundreds of people with serious drug resistant bacteria and may be a contributing factor in at least a dozen patient deaths, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned in a recent Safety Communication. “The complex design of ERCP endoscopes (also called duodenoscopes) may impede effective reprocessing. Reprocessing is a detailed, multistep process to clean and disinfect or sterilize reusable devices,” the agency reported. “Recent medical publications and adverse event reports associate drug-resistant bacterial infections in patients who ... Read More

Oil train derailment triggers giant explosions, forces evacuations in West Virginia

WV train derailment fire - photo courtesy WPEC CBS12 News

An oil train derailment of a CSX train laden with North Dakota crude oil  in West Virginia Monday ignited a series of immense explosions that forced the evacuation of two towns and prompted Governor Earl Tomblin to issue a state of emergency. The train was hauling 109 cars loaded with oil to Yorktown, Va., when it derailed for unknown reasons at 1:20 p.m. about 33 miles southeast of Charleston, W.Va. State police at the scene reported that an estimated 10 cars exploded in half-hour intervals, one car heating up and eventually igniting the next, in a chain reaction. Two of ... Read More

Whistleblower, expert engineer say Trinity guardrails failed critical safety test

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

A whistleblower who sued Trinity Industries under the False Claims Act and won, filed documents in court last week alleging the guardrails at the center of the case failed one of the tests ordered by the court. Joshua Harman, a Virginia guardrail installer, alleged in his whistleblower complaint that Dallas, Texas-based Trinity secretly modified its ET-Plus guardrail system in 2006 to save money but failed to tell the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) about the alterations. Mr. Harman claimed that the illegal modifications turned the guardrails into giant spears that cut through vehicles, sometimes impaling their occupants. A federal jury in ... Read More

Undeclared peanut allergens spur Whole Foods recall of more than 33,000 lbs. of ready-to-eat food items

Whole Foods logo

A Whole Foods recall encompasses approximately 33,191 pounds of ready-to-eat food products after a spice supplier contacted the company regarding an undeclared allergen – peanuts. The products were distributed at Whole Foods Markets in select states. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), the following Whole Foods products are subject to recall due to the unlabeled presence of peanut allergens: 16 lb. bulk containers of “CHILI, TURKEY AND BLACK BEAN” with production dates of 1/14/15 to 2/5/15. 16 lb. bulk containers of “CHILI, BRAISED BEEF” with production dates of 1/14/15 to 2/5/15 24 oz. packages of “CHICKEN ... Read More

West Virginia pipeline explosion blasts fireball hundreds of feet into air; fourth major pipeline disaster this month

pipeline explosion W Va - image by WTRF

A gas pipeline owned by a Houston, Texas-based petroleum corporation exploded Monday morning in Brooke County, W. Va., just across the Ohio River from Steubenville, Ohio, and about an hour from Pittsburgh, Penn. The pipeline explosion and subsequent fuel leak was the fourth major pipeline disaster to occur in the U.S. this month. Enterprise Products Partners, which owns the pipeline involved in Monday’s explosion, said it is investigating the incident. There were no reports of injuries, but witnesses reported a massive fireball that shot hundreds of feet in the air, damaging a nearby house and power lines. Reports so far ... Read More

Judge rules $2 million verdict stands against transvaginal mesh maker

bladder sling

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

Viagra could be key to treatments for other diseases

viagra

The erectile dysfunction drug Viagra could hold the key to new treatments for the flu, brain cancer, hepatitis, MRSA, and even the Ebola virus, according to a new study conducted at Virginia Commonwealth University. Viagra is in a class of drugs known as phosphodiesterase (PDE) 5A inhibitors, which work by attacking a protein known as GRP78. Researchers created a compound using Viagra and other drugs in the class such as Cialis. The compound, they discovered, prevented the replication of several different viruses in infected cells. They also made antibiotic-resistant bacteria vulnerable to common antibiotics, and defeated brain cancer stem cells. ... Read More