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More Expert Witnesses Testify in DePuy Pinnacle Trial

In the Northern District of Texas, five lawsuits over the DePuy Pinnacle metal-on-metal hip implant have been consolidated into one bellwether trial before federal Judge Ed Kinkeade. Over the past four weeks, jurors have been hearing arguments over whether the metal hip implant is to blame for injuries such as metal poisoning. Plaintiffs in the litigation, as with other cases over metal-on-metal hip implants, allege the implant fails at high rates and sheds metal debris.

In 2010, DePuy issued a global recall of its ASR metal-on-metal hip implants because the devices were failing at higher rates than expected. In other words, patients who received the ASR experienced complications within a relatively short period of time resulting in a second surgery, known as a revision surgery, to remove the implant. The ASR recall brought concerns over metal-on-metal hip implants to light, and thousands of lawsuits have been filed. DePuy Orthopaedics created a settlement program in 2013 to handle ASR injury claims. More More Expert Witnesses Testify in DePuy Pinnacle Trial

Boston Scientific Sued for Racketeering and Use of Counterfeit Plastic

Device maker Boston Scientific has been sued under the Racketeering and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) for allegedly orchestrating a conspiracy to sell transvaginal mesh made from counterfeit plastic smuggled from China.

Transvaginal mesh devices are implanted in about 55,000 women each year to treat pelvic organ prolapse (POP) and stress urinary incontinence (SUI). The polymer used to make all of Boston Scientific’s mesh, the polypropylene Marlex HGX-030-1, had been specified in regulatory documents filed for Boston Scientific’s mesh products. No other polymers could be used in its current mesh products, Qmed reports. More Boston Scientific Sued for Racketeering and Use of Counterfeit Plastic

Congress Extends Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in Year-End Spending Bill

Included in the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress on December 18, was an extension of health benefits to 9/11 responders and survivors who suffer illnesses and injuries from the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and their aftermath.

The bill extended the health care benefits for 75 years, until 2090, the New York Daily News reports. Joseph Zadroga, father of detective James Zadroga for whom the act is named, said, “It’s a very good day.” James Zadroga died in January 2006 from illness caused by toxic exposures at ground zero. More Congress Extends Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act in Year-End Spending Bill

Year-End Spending Bill Before Congress Contains Renewal of Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

An $8.1 billion measure to extend the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is part of the omnibus spending bill expected to be passed by Congress this week. The legislation provides benefits to first responders who became ill after the September 11 attacks.

The Zadroga Act renewal is part of the $1.1 trillion year-end tax and spending bill, according to ABC7 (New York). If the bill passes, the Victim Compensation Fund will be fully funded through 2021, and the World Trade Center Health program will be renewed until 2090. More Year-End Spending Bill Before Congress Contains Renewal of Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act

New Study Shows E-cigarette Flavorings Linked to Serious, Irreversible Lung Disease

A team of Harvard scientists has just published a study in the peer-reviewed journal Environmental Health Perspectives showing that candy-flavored e-cigarette liquid contains chemicals that cause the serious lung disease Popcorn Lung.

The study results reveal that 75 percent of the 51 flavored liquids tested contain diacetyl and other harmful compounds, the Harvard Gazette reports. More New Study Shows E-cigarette Flavorings Linked to Serious, Irreversible Lung Disease

$11 Million Damage Award in First Bellwether Trial for Wright Conserve Hip Device

The first federal bellwether trial involving the Wright Conserve metal hip implant ended with a damage award $11 million for the plaintiff.

Court documents reveal that a Georgia jury returned the $11 million verdict against Wright Medical Technology. Ten million dollars was punitive damages and the remaining $1 million was compensatory damages. More than 500 similar lawsuits are pending in a federal multidistrict litigation (MDL). More $11 Million Damage Award in First Bellwether Trial for Wright Conserve Hip Device

Mentor Corp. Settles Transvaginal Mesh Case Just Ahead of Bellwether Trial

Mentor Corp, a unit of Johnson & Johnson, has settled a transvaginal mesh case less than three weeks before the bellwether trial was scheduled to begin.

Mentor filed settlement documents in Georgia federal court last week, settling a case involving the company’s ObTape vaginal sling. According to the documents, the company was accused of making defective pelvic mesh implants that cause painful infections and other complication, Law360 reports. The trial would have started on November 30. More Mentor Corp. Settles Transvaginal Mesh Case Just Ahead of Bellwether Trial

Infections and Deaths at Pennsylvania Hospital Linked to Heating-Cooling Device Used in Heart Surgery

A heater-cooler system used to heat or cool blood during heart surgery is believed to have spread infections to patients at WellSpan York Hospital in York, Pennylvania. Four deaths have been linked to the device.

The hospital is contacting about 1300 patients who may have been exposed to nontuberculous mycobacterium during open-heart surgeries performed between October 1, 2011 and July 24, 2015, Qmed reports. More Infections and Deaths at Pennsylvania Hospital Linked to Heating-Cooling Device Used in Heart Surgery

Congress Members Press FDA to Revoke Approval for Essure Birth Control System

In the next few weeks, Pennsylvania Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick plans to introduce legislation to revoke the approval the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted to the Essure birth control system in 2002.

If passed, the bill calls for withdrawing Essure’s approval within 60 days, ABC station WRIC in Richmond, Virginia reports. More Congress Members Press FDA to Revoke Approval for Essure Birth Control System

Actos Bladder Cancer Trial Underway in Nevada

A jury in Las Vegas, Nevada has been hearing arguments over safety issues associated with Takeda Pharmaceuticals’ type 2 diabetes medication, Actos.

The trial began on August 27, 2015 and is being heard before Judge Jerry Wiese in the Supreme Court of the State of Nevada, a consolidated case on behalf of a living plaintiff and the widow of a deceased man. Both men had been taking Actos (pioglitazone) and developed bladder cancer, which they allege was caused by the drug. Counsel for the plaintiffs will likely seek $2 billion in damages for the living man and for the widow. More Actos Bladder Cancer Trial Underway in Nevada