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Hospital Collection Agency Investigated

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson has filed a lawsuit against Accretive Health, a Chicago debt collection company, alleging the company violated federal and state health privacy laws as well as Minnesota consumer protection and debt collection laws.

 

According to the Minnesota lawsuit, Accretive employs are placed into the ranks of hospital staff which allows the company to direct employees, the Detroit Free Press reported. The state may coordinate its investigations with stated and federal regulators. Illinois is also investigating Accretive Health.

The state of Michigan filed a lawsuit against Accretive Health last year over annual report filings. More Hospital Collection Agency Investigated

Judge Rejects Surgeons Request to Dismiss Liposuction Device Lawsuit

A federal judge has rejected a request by Pittsburgh, Pa plastic surgeon Dennis Hurwitz to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Rae Schiff in 2010 after a liposuction procedure.

According to the lawsuit, Hurwitz performed liposuction on Schiff’s stomach, thighs, arms, and hips, but failed to inform Schiff that a device used the procedure was part of a clinical trial for which Hurwitz was being paid. More Judge Rejects Surgeons Request to Dismiss Liposuction Device Lawsuit

WV Man Files Lawsuit against Actos after Developing Bladder Cancer

The national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Western District of Louisiana against Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Inc and Eli Lilly on behalf a plaintiff from West Virginia who was diagnosed with bladder cancer after taking the type two diabetes drug Actos for several years.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff began taking Actos in 2005, and because of Actos, he now suffers permanent, severe, and life-threatening personal injury, emotional distress, pain, and lifelong fear of premature death. The complaint alleges that because of his injuries, the plaintiff will have to have treatments, monitoring, and medications for the rest of his life. More WV Man Files Lawsuit against Actos after Developing Bladder Cancer

DePuy ASR Lawsuit Filed over Elevated Chromium and Cobalt Levels

One of several lawsuits has been filed this month by the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio against DePuy Orthopaedics regarding the metal-on-metal ASR hip replacement devices.  According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff received a DePuy ASR hip implant in October 2007, and was suffering from pain, and had elevated cobalt and chromium levels due to the hip device.

DePuy Orthopaedics parent company Johnson & Johnson issued a worldwide recall of the ASR Acetabular System and the ASR Hip Resurfacing System in 2010 after the National Joint Registry of England and Wales reported that 1 out of every 8 patients with the ASR systems had to undergo revision surgery within five years. At the time of the recall, more than 93,000 people around the world had an ASR system implanted.

In March of this year, the Lancet published a large study which found that patients with metal-on-metal hips have a 6.2 percent chance of needed a replacement within five years. The authors of the study recommended that “metal-on-metal stemmed articulations give poor implant survival compared with other options and should not be implanted.”

In February, a report published in the British Medical Journal suggested that all metal hip device manufacturers knew about the serious long-term health effects of the devices, but failed to warn consumers. The report warned that recipients of the metal-on-metal hip devices may have been exposed to dangerously high levels of toxic, and possibly cancer causing metal from the failing devices.

The lawsuit, filed on behalf of a 62-year-old Virginian, alleges that she was injured by the device, and seeks punitive and compensatory damages, as well as medical monitoring.

Settlements Continue in Zimmer Durom Cup MDL

The Zimmer Durom Cup multidistrict litigation in New Jersey federal court is moving forward as Judge Madeline Cox Arleo ordered Zimmer to transfer $501,140 plaintiffs ‘common benefit fund’ for “setting up and coordinating the mediation protocol, negotiating discovery requests, addressing scheduling issues, attending court conferences.” According to records, these plaintiffs shared attorney spent 956.1 hours on these tasks, and billed $563.13 per hour. There was also approximately $40,000 in expenses recorded. Plaintiffs who receive settlements will each contribute 4 percent of the settlement to the fund, Drugwatch.com reported.

Zimmer has 75 more lawsuits pending in the MDL, which are expected to settle before going to trial, with the first bellwether trials expected to start later this year. More Settlements Continue in Zimmer Durom Cup MDL

Yasmin, Yaz Settlements Hit $142 Million

Bayer AG reported in its Stockholders Newsletter yesterday that it has resolved 651 lawsuits against its Yaz and Yasmin oral contraceptives for $142 million, or nearly $218,000 a case, Bloomberg reports. It had last been reported that Bayer has settled 500 lawsuits for $110 million.

In the report, Bayer said they are “only settling claims in the U.S. for venous clot injuries (deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism) after a case specific analysis of medical records.” Bayer also said that fewer than half of the lawsuits filed over the birth control pills so far include venus clot injury. As of last week, the company reported they faced 11,900 Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits in the US. More Yasmin, Yaz Settlements Hit $142 Million

Judge Barbier Will Soon Rule on BP Oil Spill Lawsuit Settlement

Despite objections from the Mississippi attorney general and a BP contractor, as well as others, U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier said he will decide within a week whether to rule in favor of granting a proposed class action settlement over the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster. The settlement would resolve about $7.8 billion in claims, however that is an estimate, as there would be no cap on the settlement.

The Associated Press reports Judge Barbier as saying, “This has been a very impressive effort on the part of counsel…in terms of getting to where you all are today.” He compared the case to the Exxon Valdez litigation that took nearly 20 years to resolve, saying, “I did not intend for this case to go on for 20 years, not with me in charge of it.”

Objections to the settlement are coming from various groups, including commercial fisherman who said the settlement has “significant flaws” that would not protect many in the industry against future risks. Attorney General Jim Hood said the settlement would exclude 200,000 businesses and individuals.

Judge Barbier said his approval for the class action settlement would only be a starting point, and objections would be considered later. He wrote that would hold a “fairness hearing” later in the year, before giving final approval.

Dry And Smoked Vobla Fish Recalled For Possible Botulism Risk

Chief Judge David R. Herndon presiding over the Yasmin, Yaz multidistrict litigation in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois has extended a stay that will effectively push all deadlines out another 90 days for the bellwether trial process, to allow settlement negotiations between plaintiff attorneys and Bayer to continue. This is the third delay this year for the MDL.

Currently, Bayer faces nearly 11,500 Yasmin and Yaz lawsuits accusing the drug maker of failing to adequately warn consumers and physicians about the increased risks associated with the birth control medication. The lawsuits claim that several scientific studies have found that women who take Yaz, Yasmin and other drospirenone-containing oral contraceptives have an increased risk of blood clots, stroke, heart attack, pulmonary embolism, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and even sudden death.

According to Bloomberg News, Bayer reports it has agreed to settle nearly 500 Yaz and Yasmin lawsuits for an estimated $110 million. The most recent stay of 90 days extends the date for the first trials until late September 2012. If the mediation should break down, or should Judge Herndon decide that the bellwether trials would not help settlement negotiations, he will remand the cases back to the U.S. District Courts where they were originally filed.

Recently, the FDA ordered Bayer to change the labels of Yaz and Yasmin to include a warning over the increased risks of blood clots.

Australian Class Action Against J&J Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Grows

A federal class action filed in federal court in Sydney, Australia against Johnson & Johnson over the recalled DePuy ASR  metal-on-metal hip replacement devices has grown to include over 1,000 plaintiffs with a damages claim of over $200 million.

One of the plaintiffs, Stuart Cain, Brisbane, alleges that he had a DePuy Orthopaedics hip device implanted in 2007, and has since been forced to undergo three replacements of the original device due to femur damage caused by the metal residue from the device. More Australian Class Action Against J&J Metal-on-Metal Hip Implants Grows

MI Windows and Doors Lawsuits Consolidated in MDL

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has ordered all federally filed lawsuits against MI Windows and Doors, Inc. be consolidated in multidistrict litigation and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina under the Honorable Chief Judge David C. Norton.

MI Windows and Doors had opposed the centralization of the lawsuits arguing that it would not appropriate, however the national law firm of Parker Waichman LLP moved to have the lawsuits transferred to South Carolina on behalf of their client Craig Hildebrand. Jordan Chaikan, Partner at Parker Waichman LLP said, “We are pleased with the JPML’s decision to consolidate and transfer the case to the District of South Carolina before the Honorable Chief Judge David C. Norton. The skill and experience Judge David C. Norton brings to this case will steer this litigation on a prudent course.” More MI Windows and Doors Lawsuits Consolidated in MDL