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February 2015 Archives

More ASR Hip Lawsuits Against Johnson & Johnson

When Johnson & Johnson announced a settlement to compensate victims of defective DePuy ASR Hip Systems in 2013, it was estimated that 8,000 patients would participate. The $2.5 billion settlement was open to patients who had had their ASR hips replaced in a procedure known as a revision surgery by August 31, 2013. Johnson & Johnson has now agreed to expand the settlement, adding $420 million and extending the settlement offer to patients who filed claims as late as January 31, 2015. The expanded coverage could add 1,400 patients to the list of those receiving a settlement. Between the earlier settlement and this latest addition, J&J will have resolved roughly 90 percent of the claims involving hip removal procedures for defective ASR implants.

A Call For New Truck Safety Technology

Four safety groups joined together to ask the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to pass new rules regarding trucking technology. The Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Truck Safety Coalition, Center for Auto Safety, and Road Safe America joined together to petition the NHTSA concerning forward collision avoidance and automatic braking systems on commercial trucks. Industry leaders have projected a significant increase in commercial truck traffic going forward and the safety groups would like the new technology in place before then.

The Return Of The Large Jury Verdict

Lawsuits are one way in which our society protects itself from conduct we consider detrimental. There are cases where shoddy practices and dangerous behavior can be profitable. Many laws have been put into place to protect workers and the general public from the willingness of a few to go to any lengths to make money. Product liability lawsuits are one way to compensate people who have been injured due to unsafe products. They are also a way to punish those who make and sell dangerous products. After a long hiatus, a number of very large jury verdicts were reached in 2014.

Asbestos Offenders Go On The Offensive

After spending years seeking new ways to hide from responsibility, asbestos manufacturers and their insurance companies have recently gone on the offensive. Not content to have killed hundreds of thousands of people by spreading a deadly substance far and wide, these companies are now looking to make sick people look like the bad guys and make them jump through more hoops to get the compensation they deserve. The companies are looking to drum up support for their pet legislation, the Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act, by highlighting a few bad actors among the throng of people seeking justice. If they succeed, it could become even harder for the real victims of asbestos to get the medical care and compensation they need.

Three Plead Guilty In Michigan Asbestos Case

A salvage contract at a power production facility in Comstock Township, Michigan, led to a massive release of asbestos into the environment. Investigators reported that the amount of asbestos released may have been the most in Michigan since 1971. Three people plead guilty to violations of the Clean Air Act last week for their roles in the incident. The three could be sentenced to as much as five years in federal prison, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Workers Exposed To Chemical Additives

The recent push to eat more natural, whole foods has done little to harm the makers of chemical food additives. Chemicals used to simulate flavors and fragrances, including flavors such as strawberry, apple and butter, are a multi-billion dollar industry. The chemicals used have generally been tested for consumer safety, but they are not always tested for the safety of workers. A person eating the final food product might ingest a small amount of an additive. A worker adding the chemical in massive quantities on a daily basis might inhale or otherwise ingest much larger amounts. In some cases, the dangers posed by these chemicals only become clear after many workers get sick.

Warning Consumers About Recalled Products

If something you have purchased is found to be defective or dangerous, how would you find out about it? Companies invest substantial time and money into reaching consumers. They are aggressive and determined when it comes to selling you a product. They use the latest technology and research to find the best ways to get you to make the purchasing decision they want. Unsurprisingly, many of those same companies show far less initiative in telling their customers that a product has been recalled.

Does Marijuana Use Impair Drivers?

The movement to legalize marijuana in several states has led many to speculate about a potential rise in the number of car accidents caused by impaired driving. Most states have impaired driving statutes that tie some level of the active drug in marijuana, THC, to an automatic finding of impairment. But studies have been inconclusive about a definitive connection between concentrations of THC and impairment. Some even question whether marijuana has any impact on a person's ability to drive a car safely. A recent study supports the notion that marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol in terms of driving safety.

Mesothelioma Survivor Celebrates Milestone

A Minnesota woman recently celebrated the ninth anniversary of her surgery to combat mesothelioma. After her diagnosis in 2005, she had her left lung, pericardium, half of her diaphragm, a rib and several lymph nodes removed. That surgery was followed by extensive chemotherapy treatment. Nine years later, she is one of a small number of people diagnosed with mesothelioma who has survived for an extended period. Her story is illustrative of the severe nature of the illness and the terrible impact that asbestos has on individuals and families.

A Poison Pill, The Lies Of The Herbal Supplement Industry

Every few years, a new fad arises in herbal products. Echinacea, ginseng, St. John's wort, guarana, Acai berries and other "remedies" have been sold to the public as cures for depression, excess weight, high blood pressure and countless other medical conditions. These products are sold as herbal supplements because those products do not have to go through the same testing standards as real medications. They do not have be proven effective to be packaged like a medicine and sold to the public. As dubious as the benefits of these supplements are, the Food and Drug Administration has little authority to police them until after they prove dangerous.

Defective Auto Cases Might Get More Scrutiny In The Future

Dangerous products make their way to consumers in virtually every industry. Consumer goods, including food, medicine, toys, electronics and motor vehicles, have the potential to cause serious harm when they are not handled properly. Defective cars and trucks kill people every year. The number of defective vehicles on the roads at any given time is staggering. The task of identifying safety defects and responding to them falls to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In 2014, the NHTSA saw roughly 64 million vehicles recalled. It has a defects team with fewer than 30 employees.

Will Insurance Companies Make A Killing On Asbestos Claims?

Overall, the insurance industry is likely to lose money based on asbestos liability claims. The industry as a whole was not prepared when the shocking truth about illnesses and deaths caused by asbestos came to light. In classic form, however, new players are finding ways to turn a profit from the loss and pain of others. Most insurance companies have funded for outstanding asbestos liabilities. Those funds have attracted investors who realize that they can make a killing by delaying or avoiding payouts in asbestos cases. These investors have worked to make it harder for people suffering from mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses to get the compensation they deserve. They will use any tactic to keep that money for themselves.

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    We know that obtaining funds in a timely manner will help cover medical expenses. Gori Julian works quickly to recover funds and secure the earliest possible trial dates on our client's behalf. Read More

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