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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

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

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

California Rabbi Arrested on Multiple Felony Child Sexual Abuse Charges

Last week, Santa Monica, California police arrested Rabbi Sholom Doyber Levitansky on multiple felony charges of child sexual abuse.

Police are seeking further information and are attempting to locate any additional abuse victims, the Santa Monica Daily Press (SMDP) reports. More California Rabbi Arrested on Multiple Felony Child Sexual Abuse Charges

Thoratec Issues Device Correction after 2 HeartMate II Patients Die

Thoratec has issued a voluntary Urgent Medical Device Correction Letter after two patients using HeartMate II left ventricular assist system (LVAS) died and one became seriously injured. According to FierceMedicalDevices.com, the deaths occurred when patients were not able to connect their devices to a backup system controller in time.

The deaths and serious injury arose from confusion over how to properly use the device, FierceMedicalDevices.com reports. The problem stems from a “yellow wrench” alarm that goes off to remind users to check up on the expiration date of the backup battery; it does not mean that system is malfunctioning. The adverse events occurred when patients mistakenly tried to swtich to the backup system after the alarm went off. Thoratec said in a release, “The Urgent Medical Device Correction Letter is intended to prevent the occurrence of certain preventable advisory alarms that may result in patients deciding to attempt a System Controller exchange. Thoratec is working with hospital staff to identify patients that may be close to reaching the 36-month expiration date of their System Controller backup battery in order to facilitate priority replacement and to ensure routine monitoring of backup battery lifetime during clinic visits, as specified in the product Instructions for Use,” More Thoratec Issues Device Correction after 2 HeartMate II Patients Die

Bayer Settles Yaz Blood Clot Claims for $57 Million

Bayer Corp. has agreed to settle Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella lawsuits for $57 million over allegations that the birth control pills caused arterial blood clots, leading to injuries such as stroke and heart attacks. According to Law360, the settlement would resolve cases pending in the Illinois multidistrict litigation in federal court, as well as lawsuits filed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California state courts.

Plaintiffs in the litigation allege that the drospirenone-containing birth control pills caused blood clots and blood-clot related injuries. Previously, Bayer already agreed to pay nearly $2 billion to settle claims over venous blood clots, including pulmonary embolisms and deep vein thrombosis. The latest settlement resolves lawsuits over injuries from arterial blood clots, which were not previously addressed. The proposed settlement fund, announced Monday, would resolve about 1,200 lawsuits nationwide. More Bayer Settles Yaz Blood Clot Claims for $57 Million

Lawsuit Alleges 3M Bair Hugger Surgical Blanket Caused Deep Joint Infection

Lawsuit Alleges 3M Surgical Blanket Caused Infection

Lawsuit Alleges 3M Surgical Blanket Caused Infection


A lawsuit has been filed against Arizant, a 3M subsidiary, alleging that its Bair Hugger forced-air surgical warming blanket caused a deep joint infection. The plaintiff in the case had been undergoing a hip implant revision surgery. Allegedly, the Bair Hugger introduced pathogens from the operating room floor into the surgical site and resulted in Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection. The septic arthritis, or deep joint infection, allegedly caused by the Bair Hugger forced the plaintiff to undergo another six surgeries in less than eleven months. He alleges that he is unable to move freely and continues to suffer physical damages.

The suit alleges although the Bair Hugger is used in 90 percent of major surgeries, it is especially risky in joint replacement and revision procedures. The surgical warming blanket may play a role in the thousands of orthopedic implant infections each year, the suit alleges. Arizant and 3M are accused of hiding the risks of the Bair Hugger. More Lawsuit Alleges 3M Bair Hugger Surgical Blanket Caused Deep Joint Infection

Hundreds of Women Sue Johnson & Johnson over Use of Talcum Powder

Women Sue Johnson & Johnson over Use of Talcum Powder

Women Sue Johnson & Johnson over Use of Talcum Powder


The litigation against Johnson & Johnson over talcum powder continues to grow, as hundreds of women have filed a lawsuit alleging that the soft powder product caused ovarian cancer. The pharmaceutical giant was allegedly negligent with regards to the risks of their talcum powder products, such include Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. The women allege that J&J should have warned that use of talcum powder in the genital area could increase the risk of ovarian cancer.

FairWarning, a non-profit investigative news organization, reports that a number of studies link talcum powder to an increased risk of ovarian cancer. “Since the early 1980s, a slew of studies had found that women who regularly used talc powder for feminine hygiene had higher than average rates of ovarian cancer.” according to an article posted April 29th. More Hundreds of Women Sue Johnson & Johnson over Use of Talcum Powder

Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Case involving New York Anti-Subrogation Law

Court Denies Certiorari in NY Anti-Subrogation Law Case

Court Denies Certiorari in NY Anti-Subrogation Law Case


The Supreme Court has denied certiorari in a case involving New York’s anti-subrogation law. The decision, issued on February 23, 2015, supports a lower court’s ruling that the law is not preempted by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

Subrogation is when an insurance company can seek reimbursement for funds paid on behalf of the insured. New York’s anti-subrogation law prevents private health insurers from seeking reimbursement for medical benefits paid out of a tort settlement. Last July, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the law is not preempted by ERISA. More Supreme Court Denies Certiorari in Case involving New York Anti-Subrogation Law