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Current Legal News, Product Liability, Medical Malpractice and Design Defects.

FDA Lifts 14-Year Ban on Silicone Breast Implants

In a surprising and controversial move, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has decided to remove the ban on silicone breast implants, meaning that one of the most notorious and divisive medical procedures of the past 20 years is poised to regain its old popularity.
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Flu Shots Linked to Rare Neurological Condition

Because the flu is responsible for 36,000 deaths and 200,000 hospitalizations annually, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) strongly recommends vaccination for a large segment of the population. However, a new Canadian study has given potential flu-shot recipients something else to think about before they decide to get vaccinated.
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Toy Company Mega Brands Settles Out of Court

Montreal-based Mega Brands, manufacturer of Magnetix toys, reached a $13.5 million settlement with 14 families, including one whose son died from injuries related to Magnetix products. A 22-month-old toddler from Redmond, Wash., Kenny Sweet, died on Thanksgiving Day, 2005, after ingesting eight kernel-sized magnetic pieces, which led to a perforation of his intestinal wall and, subsequently, blood poisoning.
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Plavix Gastrointestinal Bleeding

Studies have shown that Plavix, a popular heart medication, causes potentially fatal hemorrhaging, including severe gastrointestinal bleeding. Because of the significantly increased risk of an adverse gastrointestinal event, Plavix is not recommended for use in patients with a previous history of peptic ulcer disease or gastrointestinal bleeding.
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Automakers lobbying for limits on lawsuits

Automakers are now stepping up their efforts to enact legal reforms that would drastically change the way auto litigation is handled. Fueled by President Bush’s re-election and a more Republican Congress, Detroit auto manufacturers, alongside the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and other business groups have banded together to try to reform the legal system and limit liability.
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Fosamax Side Effects

Fosamax (alendronate sodium), which belongs to a class of drugs known as biophosphanates, acts specifically on bones and is used in the treatment of osteoporosis. Recent evidence, however, shows a link between the use of biophosphanates and a rare but serious bone disease called osteonecrosis. If you’ve suffered Fosamax injuries, you may be able to seek compensation for your losses and suffering.
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One-Third of Infected ReNu with MoistureLoc Users Needed Corneal Transplants

A research report issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that one-third of patients with a serious eye infection associated with Bausch & Lomb’s ReNu with Moistureloc contact-lens solution had such severe infections that they had or will need a corneal transplant.
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Number of E. Coli Cases Reaches 109; Natural Selection Food May Face Numerous Lawsuits

The number of E. Coli cases linked to contaminated spinach has reached 109. The E. coli outbreak has been traced back to Natural Selection Food of Salinas, California, but 34 brands in total have been removed from supermarket shelves.
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Defective Guidant Defibrillators Continue to Haunt Boston Scientific

According to recent SEC filings, Boston Scientific Corp. now faces about 477 individual and 72 class-action lawsuits over recalled Guidant defibrillators. Boston Scientific purchased Guidant earlier this year for $27 billion.
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Severe Pulmonary Embolism Caused by Birth Control Patch
Source: Online Legal Source

An Idaho woman has filed a lawsuit against the makers of the Ortho Evra birth control patch, Ortho McNeil. This 34-year-old woman used Ortho Evra for less than two years before she developed a serious and life threatening condition called severe pulmonary embolism, caused by the birth control patch.
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U.S. nursing homes showing little improvement in resident care
Source: Online Legal Source

HealthGrades, a company devoted to tracking nursing home quality, said in its latest report that U.S. nursing homes are not showing much improvement in the way residents are being treated.
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Ford recalls 1.2 million vehicles over possible engine fires
Source: Ken Thomas | Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON — Ford Motor Co., expanding on one of the largest auto recalls in U.S. history, recalled 1.2 million trucks, sport utility vehicles and vans on Thursday amid worries about potential engine fires.

Ford said the recall was to fix the speed control deactivation switch system, which could corrode over time, overheat and ignite. The move came hours after the No. 2 U.S. automaker said its second-quarter loss more than doubled from what it previously reported, underscoring the Dearborn, Mich.-based company’s recent struggles
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Wrongful Conviction Case Goes To Jury For Award
Source: AP

(AP) CHICAGO A man sentenced to life in “the worst hell imaginable” for murder at age 17 only to be cleared almost three decades later should be awarded up to $58 million in damages, his attorney said Thursday.

Michael Evans “had to become a zombie to survive in the horrible, horrible world” of prison with “the worst people humankind has to offer — sadists, people who thrive on other people’s pain,” Jon Loevy told jurors.
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Merck vows to keep fighting the Vioxx war
Source: Aaron Smith, CNNMoney.com

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) — Merck holds the lead in the ongoing legal war against Vioxx plaintiffs, with five wins and three losses, and experts say it’s cheaper for the company to keep paying defense lawyers than to buy off plaintiffs in a mass settlement.

“I think they’re doing the right thing, at least from a cost-benefit point of view,” said Bryan Liang, professor of health law studies at California Western School of Law. “Eventually they’re going to wear people down. If they continue to get more wins, I think that some plaintiffs are going to say ‘this is too much’ and they’re going to start dropping these cases.
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Feds Not Told About Tests That Exposed Vioxx Dangers
Source: AP

Merck & Co. did not inform federal authorities about two clinical trials in which users of the painkiller Vioxx were more likely to die than people given a placebo, jurors in the first Vioxx liability case to go to trial in California were told Wednesday. Dr. Edward Scolnick, the former head of Merck & Co.’s research laboratories, said in a videotaped deposition that he did not believe the numbers were coincidental.
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Birth Injuries: Conditions & Common Causes
Source: FreeAdvice.com

A birth injury is a trauma to the baby that occurs just by the process of being born. The injury is generally due to tremendous pressure put upon the baby while passing through the birth canal. It can be caused by factors such as prolonged labor, a “breech” (legs first) delivery, premature birth, measures taken by doctors during birth (i.e., the use of forceps), and the small size or irregular shape of the mother’s pelvis.
Types of Injuries.
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Deadly Risks Associated with Asbestos Have Failed to Stop Its Use in U.S. and Around the World.
Source: NewsInferno.com

Currently, the U.S. Senate is debating a bill (S.852) that would establish a 30-year, $140 billion asbestos victims’ compensation trust fund that, in essence, would eliminate asbestos lawsuits and create a 30-year fund financed by companies facing litigation and their insurers. Victims would lose their right to sue for compensation and would be required to go to the fund for relief.
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Study Casts Doubt on Claims That the Medical Malpractice System Is Plagued By Frivolous Lawsuits
Source: Harvard School of Public Health

The debate over medical malpractice litigation, which raged during the last presidential campaign, continues as a hot-button political and health care issue in the U.S. The Senate is expected to vote soon on legislation to impose a federal cap on non economic damages in malpractice suits, following on similar bills that passed the House of Representatives but stalled in the Senate last year.
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A Winning Strategy in Defective Products Cases.
By: Richard Alexander

A products case is won or lost in the early days following the accident, when the preliminary investigation must be initiated. This article will offer some suggestions on how to proceed in order to increase the client’s chance of success.
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FDA Issues Public Health Advisory on Vioxx as its Manufacturer Voluntarily Withdraws the Product.
Source: FDA

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) today acknowledged the voluntary withdrawal from the market of Vioxx (chemical name rofecoxib), a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) manufactured by Merck & Co. FDA today also issued a Public Health Advisory to inform patients of this action and to advise them to consult with a physician about alternative medications.
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Despite Severe Warnings and a New Registry Program, Many Question Whether an Acne Drug Is Really Worth the Enormous Risks Posed by Accutane
Source: Newsinferno
By: Steven DiJoseph

For years, Accutane has been under siege from numerous medical experts, consumer watchdog groups, and even many officials within the FDA itself because of the many serious health risks linked to the drug.
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Internal Ford Document Shows 16 Million Vehicles Remain Equipped With Faulty Electrical Switch Already Responsible For 559 Fires.
Source: Newsinferno

In its ongoing investigation of fires linked to faulty cruise control shut off switches in Ford vehicles, CNN is reporting that despite the fact that Ford is aware of 16 million 1992 to 2003 vehicles at risk, only slightly over one million have been recalled.

The switch in question only costs $20.57, yet is already being linked to 559 fires reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many of these fires have completely garage.
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SOX Whistleblower Protection Is Not International
Source: The National Law Journal
By: Pamela A. MacLean

Auto accidents, Slip & Falls, Medical Malpractice – Cooper & Schall, P.C. – Philadelphia Trial Lawyers Article Summary – Corporate whistleblower protection under the Sarbanes-Oxley securities law stops at the U.S. border. In the first appellate decision to weigh in on whistleblower protections under SOX, the 1st Circuit has decided that they do not extend to foreign workers employed by U.S. companies’ overseas subsidiaries. In the case at issue, the Argentinean plaintiff’s attorney argued that the SEC has interpreted other SOX sections’ nearly identical language to apply to foreign companies.
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