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Court Mandates Takeda to Pay $6 Billion in Actos Trial

The national law firm, Parker Waichman LLP, reports that a United States district court mandated Takeda Pharmaceuticals Co. to pay $6 billion in punitive damages relating to a lawsuit brought by a man alleging he developed bladder cancer after taking the diabetes drug, Actos.

This was the first federal lawsuit tried against Takeda over allegations that Actos can lead to bladder cancer. More Court Mandates Takeda to Pay $6 Billion in Actos Trial

Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will Regulate All Hydrocodone Combination Products Starting in Early October

Acting on an October 2013 recommendation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced August 21 that it will regulate all hydrocodone combination products as Schedule II drugs under federal law.

The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970 places controls on dangerous and addictive drugs, and drugs lacking medically-accepted uses, according to RAPS.org. More Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will Regulate All Hydrocodone Combination Products Starting in Early October

Time is Running Out for 9/11 Victims to Register for Workers’ Compensation

First responders and volunteers who worked at the World Trade Center site on and after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, have until September 11, 2014, to register for workers’ compensation.

The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is registering as many applicants as possible through its “Tell Us You Were There” campaign. There is now less than a month left for rescuers and responders to fill out a WTC-12 form, according to the New York Post (Post). More Time is Running Out for 9/11 Victims to Register for Workers’ Compensation

Disabling back Pain Increases the risk of Death Among Women in Their 70s and Older

Women in their 70s who suffer from disabling back pain have an increased risk of mortality, according to a new study out of the United Kingdom (U.K.).

Data from the Cambridge City Over-75s Cohort study confirms the results of previous studies that found a link between debilitating back pain and people of working age, medwireNews.com reported.
More Disabling back Pain Increases the risk of Death Among Women in Their 70s and Older

Unique Pharmaceuticals Sterile Drugs Recalled Due to Unsanitary Conditions

Healthcare professionals and consumers should not use sterile drug products manufactured by Texas-based Unique Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned. Furthermore, the agency is instructing consumers to voluntarily recall the products. The warnings are prompted by an inspection showing that the facility had unsanitary conditions that could contaminate the products. More Unique Pharmaceuticals Sterile Drugs Recalled Due to Unsanitary Conditions

9/11 Zadroga Act Deadlines are Fast Approaching

Patients who are suffering from certain types of recognized World Trade Center-related cancers are running out of time to register for the James Zadroga September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

Members who were diagnosed on or before October 12, 2012 with one of the cancers first recognized by the VCF on that date have until October 12, 2014 to register. More 9/11 Zadroga Act Deadlines are Fast Approaching

G.M. to Pay Families at Least $1 Million in Wake of Faulty Ignition Switch Issues

A compensation expert has decreed that $1 million will be the starting point for families who lost a loved one in accidents caused by a defective ignition switch in General Motors cars. The plan was unveiled Monday by compensation expert Kenneth R. Feinberg, who was hired by the automaker.

While the $ 1 million is a starting point, there is no cap on the amount of money G.M. has agreed to spend on victims’ payments, Mr. Feinberg said. Under the agreement the company will not invoke its protection from liabilities involving accidents before its July 10, 2009, bankruptcy restructuring agreement, he added.

Under Mr. Feinberg’s proposed formula, families of those who died in an accident are entitled to at least $1 million, which will be a “calculation of lifetime earnings lost as well as $300,000 for a spouse and for each dependent,” the New York Times reported.

On Feb. 13, G.M. announced it was recalling about 778,000 vehicles due to the ignition issue. The recall notice reported that if the vehicle was jarred or the keys jostled, the engine could be inadvertently turned off, keeping the air bags from deploying. The recall included the Chevrolet Cobalt from the 2005-7 model years and 2007 Pontiac G5 cars, which comprised 619,000 vehicles in the United States alone.

During its initial recall, G.M. said that it was aware of the deaths of 13 front-seat passengers in crashes where the front air bags failed to deploy.

A few days after the recall, G.M. expanded the recall, saying it was recalling about 748,000 additional vehicles, the New York Times reported. The expanded recall covered the 2003-7 Saturn Ions, 2006-7 Chevrolet HHRs and 2006-7 Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky. Consumer advocates had been pushing for the recall to include those vehicles because they had also been identified as having the same ignition problem as vehicles involved in the previous recall.

In the months since, questions have been raised concerning why it took so long for General Motors to act on a problem it had been aware of for a decade. A chronological report published by G.M. showed that by 2005 the automaker had knowledge that it had a problem that could result in the 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt’s engine to be accidentally switched off.

Meanwhile, lawsuits have been filed by hosts of people who allege the faulty ignition switch caused a loved on to suffer injuries or death in an accident.

Supreme Court Allows Medtronic Lawsuit to Proceed

A lawsuit filed against Medtronic Inc. by a man who was left a paraplegic after surgeons implanted a system that infuses pain medication into the spine will continue, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled.

The justices left intact a federal appeals court decision allowing the suit go forward, Bloomberg News reported. The lawsuit alleges that Medtronic failed to warn federal regulators about known problems with the SynchroMed EL pump and catheter. More Supreme Court Allows Medtronic Lawsuit to Proceed

Link Between Deaths and VA Wait Times Questioned

An internal review by Veteran Affairs found a link between the deaths of 23 veterans and wait times at VA facilities.

The investigation found that delays in endoscopy screenings for potential gastrointestinal cancer in 76 veterans treated at Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals were linked to 23 deaths, with most occurring three to four years ago, USA Today reported. The delays reportedly happened at 27 VA hospitals with deaths at 13 of the facilities. The William Jennings Bryan Dorn veterans hospital in Columbia, S.C., had the worst record, as there were 20 cases of delays and six deaths, according to a VA report. More Link Between Deaths and VA Wait Times Questioned

New Documents Show G.M. Knew of Defect Prior to Recall

Newly released documents are the latest form of evidence showing that General Motors had knowledge of ignition switch defects years before initiating a recall.

The documents, which were released on Saturday, show that General Motors waited years to recall nearly 335,000 Saturn Ions for power steering failures despite receiving thousands of consumer complaints and more than 30,000 warranty repair claims, Bloomberg News reported. More New Documents Show G.M. Knew of Defect Prior to Recall