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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

Atheist Couple Files Lawsuit Citing Words in Pledge of Allegiance

A New Jersey family is attempting to sue a school district in Freehold Township over claims that the phrase “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance discriminates against atheist children.

The lawsuit was filed against the Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District in state court last month and was announced Monday by the American Humanist Association, ABC News reported. The group claims the phrase ‘under God’ “marginalizes atheist and humanist kids as something less than ideal patriots,” according to ABC News. The phrase has been in the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954. More Atheist Couple Files Lawsuit Citing Words in Pledge of Allegiance

Nissan Issues Recall Due to Airbag Deployment Problems

In the wake of General Motors recalling 1.6 million vehicles due to a faulty ignition switch that disables airbag deployment, another automaker has issued a recall amid similar concerns.

Nissan announced it is recalling more than 1 million vehicles to fix faulty airbag sensors that may not deploy the front passenger airbag in the event a crash, MSN reported. More Nissan Issues Recall Due to Airbag Deployment Problems

Michigan Man Files Lawsuit against GM After Delayed Recall

A Michigan man has filed a class-action lawsuit against General Motors Co., alleging the automaker had knowledge of faulty ignition switches in Chevrolet Cobalts, Saturn Ions and other older cars but failed to act on the information.

The complaint is the first class-action lawsuit filed in federal court in Michigan – and third in the nation – revolving around the defective ignition switch defect, according to The Detroit News. More lawsuits are likely to follow in wake of GM’s recall of 1.62 million cars linked to 12 deaths. GM has been hit by a firestorm of bad press after documents showed the company had information about the defect for a decade, but failed to issue a recall until recently. More Michigan Man Files Lawsuit against GM After Delayed Recall

Arizona Woman Alleges Metal Hip Caused Crippling Pain, Revision Surgery

A Maricopa, Arizona woman is suing DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc. and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), claiming the companies’ Pinnacle hip implant device caused her serious health problems.

Shortly after undergoing surgery to implant the Pinnacle Acetabular Cup System in May 2007, the woman alleges she endured severe pain from inflammation, bone and tissue loss, a reaction to metal debris shed by components of the implant grinding together, a large fluid cyst collection, and elevated chromium and cobalt levels. More Arizona Woman Alleges Metal Hip Caused Crippling Pain, Revision Surgery

Major Discrepancies With Spine Surgeons Disclosures and Industry Payments

A new study has found that there are alarming discrepancies between spine surgeons disclosures and payments reported by industry.

Rafael A. Buerba, from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues examined potential inconsistencies between physician disclosures and payments reported by industry before implementation of the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (PPSA), according to doctorslounge.com. The researchers compared publically available disclosures from physicians at the 2011 North American Spine Society (NASS) annual meeting and physicians listed on the 2010 physician payment websites of Medtronic and Depuy Spine, according to doctorslounge.com. More Major Discrepancies With Spine Surgeons Disclosures and Industry Payments