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Virginia 204 articles

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


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

Another Xarelto side effects lawsuit filed alleging serious bleeding risks


Another Xarelto side effects lawsuit has been filed alleging makers Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Healthcare were aware of the bleeding risks their new blood thinner posed but failed to warn doctors or patients. Nova Rose and her husband, William, filed the lawsuit in federal court in Charleston, W. Va. Nova claims she was prescribed Xarelto, which contains the active ingredient rivaroxaban, to prevent strokes, a risk factor for patients with a common heart rhythm abnormality known as atrial fibrillation. The Roses’ lawsuit claims that the drug companies ignored studies that showed Xarelto patients were at increased risk for ... Read More

U.S. government, whistleblowers sue Omnicare over illegal nursing home kickbacks


The U.S. government has joined a pair of whistleblower lawsuits against Omnicare Inc., the nation’s largest provider of prescription drugs and pharmacy consulting services to nursing homes, alleging the company received several million dollars in illegal kickbacks from Abbott Laboratories in exchange for pushing its drug Depakote on nursing home patients with dementia. Federal regulations designed to protect nursing home residents from unnecessary drugs require nursing home facilities to retain consulting pharmacists such as those provided by Omnicare to ensure that patients receive appropriate drug prescriptions. Sometimes, however, consulting pharmacists and the companies they work for are corrupted by inappropriate ... Read More

Six Freedom Industries execs indicted for W.Va. chemical spill

drinking water

Federal authorities have indicted four former Freedom Industries executives and two other employees in connection with a January 9 chemical spill that contaminated the water supply for the Charleston, W.Va., area and left 300,000 residents without clean water for several days. The indictment charges two former Freedom Industries presidents, Gary Southern and Dennis Farrell, and former owners William Tis and Charles Herzing, with various federal crimes for failing to operate the Freedom Industries chemical plant in a reasonably safe and environmentally sound manner. The company’s negligence led to a chemical leak that contaminated the Elk River and Charleston’s municipal water ... Read More

Mercedes-Benz faces lawsuit over fuel leaks in E-Class vehicles


Mercedes-Benz USA, parent company Daimler AG, and 15 Meredes-Benz dealerships in New Jersey have been hit with a federal lawsuit claiming gasoline leaks in certain E-Class model vehicles exposed occupants to serious health risks. Defects in the fuel delivery system of 2003 to 2009 E-Class model vehicles cause gasoline and vapor to seep into the cars, the lawsuit alleges. Gasoline vapor is a suspected carcinogen that can cause liver damage, harm to developing fetuses and problems with female fertility. The fumes are also a fire hazard because the vehicles are sold with ashtrays and cigarette lighters. Since Mercedes-Benz reasonably expects ... Read More

Virginia sues Trinity over potentially deadly guardrails

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

Virginia has become the first state to take legal action against Trinity industries over its ET-Plus guardrail systems, claiming the manufacturer sold it guardrails that were unapproved, untested, and potentially dangerous to motorists. The state’s complaint was prompted by a lawsuit filed against Trinity by whistleblower Joshua Harman under the federal False Claims Act. Mr. Harman accused Trinity of secretly altering its widely used ET-Plus guardrails in 2005 without the consent or approval of U.S. highway safety regulators. The redesign, Mr. Harman asserted, made the guardrails dangerous, turning them into giant spears that could impale vehicles and their occupants. A federal ... Read More

Xarelto side effects lawsuits consolidated in multidistrict litigation

blood cells

The U.S. Judiciary Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has consolidated nearly two dozen lawsuits in Louisiana federal court filed against Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceuticals and Bayer Corp., alleging the drug companies failed to warn that the blood thinner Xarelto could cause serious bleeding events. Defendants fought centralizing the lawsuits, claiming discrepancies in dosage and patients’ medical history made the cases too dissimilar. But the panel found the Xarelto side effects lawsuits struck a similar chord in their claims that the drug companies withheld information from clinical trials that showed the drug could increase the risk for life-threatening bleeding events. ... Read More

Injuries from Takata exploding airbags often resemble bullet and knife wounds

Takata airbag - image source alexauto321, wikicommons

Motorists injured by exploding airbags made by Japanese supplier Takata often look like they have been stabbed or shot, CNN reported, citing police who responded to emergencies involving the potentially deadly airbags. In September 2013, Police who first arrived at the scene of a minor car accident in Alhambra, Calif., thought that the driver, Hai Ming Xu, had sustained a gunshot to the face. But Mr. Hai wasn’t the victim of foul play. He was simply maneuvering his 2002 Acura TL in the parking lot of a restaurant where he worked when he accidentally struck the wall of an adjoining ... Read More

Small jet crashes into suburban DC house, killing at least three

plane crash Maryland - photo by WTOP ABC7 News

Three people are dead and three remain unaccounted for after a small jet crashed into a home in Gaithersburg, Md., Monday morning. Montgomery County Fire Chief Steven Lohr told reporters that three people aboard the airplane were killed in the crash, while three in the house that was hit, reportedly a mother and her two young children, remain unaccounted for. Investigators are trying to determine whether there was a fourth person aboard the downed airplane. The 10-seat corporate jet was a 2009 Embraer EMB-500/Phenom 100 twin-engine jet registered to Sage Aviation of Chapel Hill, N.C. The airplane was on approach ... Read More