Johnson & Johnson Hip Replacement Judgments totaled over $1.5B in 2016

Hip replacement judgments in 2016 cost the global brand more than $1.5B with more judgments pending.

Hip replacement issues have left many people in pain. Johnson and Johnson lost 6 out of 7 product liability claims in 2016. The cases have been noted as the largest jury verdicts over product defect claims in America.Hip replacement

Beyond these judgments, there are tens of thousands of potential cases against the brand. Potential legal issues are related to hip replacements, pelvic mesh, and baby powder among other products.

Bloomberg outlined Johnson & Johnson’s legal failures like so:

  • Hip implant, Dallas: for $1 billion
  • Hip implant, Dallas: $502 million
  • Talc, St. Louis: $72 million
  • Risperdal, Philadelphia: $70 million
  • Talc, St. Louis: $70 million
  • Talc, St. Louis: $55 million

2017, has not left the brand in the clear, hip replacement, baby powder, and other big settlements will continue to cost the company.

If you have suffered pain or suffering due a faulty Johnson & Johnson hip replacement product, you could be entitled to compensation.

Pharmco Laboratories

SkinCare Co. Pharmco Laboratories Receives Warning From FDA

Pharmco Laboratories received a warning letter from the FDA citing 4 violations.

Pharmco Laboratories received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration. The letter to the Florida-based skincare manufacturer “summarized significant violations of current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) regulations for finished pharmaceuticals.”

In the letter posted to the agencywebsite, four specific violation were referenced.

Pharmco Laboratories was accused of presenting an allergy risk to consumers. The FDA states that there has been insufficient evidence of the proper cleaning of equipment that came in contact with major allergens. Dietary supplements, for example, containing soybeans used the same dryer as the ingreditents in skincare items.

The FDA warning letter stated that “repeated lapses demonstrate a failure of your executive management to exercise proper oversight and control over the manufacture of drugs.”

Monsanto

Monsanto Popular Weed Killer to Be Labeled a Cancer Risk

Monsanto, a major agricultural corporation, can now be required to label its popular weed-killer, as a possible cancer threat.

California can require Monsanto to label Roundup, its top-selling herbicide, as a possible cancer threat, a judge tentatively ruled Friday.

Monsanto has insisted that its product poses no risk to people. 

On Friday, a federal judge denied the corporation’s bid to overturn a 2015 state ruling to label it as a cancer risk.

The main criticism is Roundup’s main ingredient. The popular weed-killer includes Glyphosate, a chemical which was originally touted as a way to kill weeds while leaving crops and plants intact.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, says it has ‘low toxicity.’ The agency considers Glyphosate safe when used correctly.
However, under California Proposition 65 label requirements in California, businesses are required to notify Californians about significant amounts of chemicals in the products that they purchase.

Chemicals that require labeling include ingredients or additives in pesticides, common household products, food, drugs, dyes, or solvents.

California regulators are waiting for the lawsuit to be resolved before deciding whether to require warnings, said Sam Delson, a spokesman for the state Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Software

Medical Device Software Vulnerabilities a Huge Concern

Software vulnerabilities of medical devices may be difficult for health sector officials and manufacturers to manage.

As we reported last week, St. Jude implemented software updates that could protect pacemakers and other medical devices from being compromised by hackers. Oxycontin

Unfortunately, new information suggested that the public is not completely in the clear.

“Software is never perfect and all systems still will have these flaws,” says Joshua Corman, director of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council and an expert on medical device security. “The question is how gracefully and collaboratively and quickly and safely can we respond to these flaws.”

In late 2016, there were reports that the Merlin@home transmitter used in monitoring certain St. Jude Medical implant devices could be hacked. These hacks could lead to deadly consequences for  the patient.

MedSec, a cybersecurity firm,  initially found the problems in the St. Jude devices. After which they “tipped off”- the activist investment firm Muddy Waters, which publicized the flaws and advised clients to bet against the health care firm’s stock.

Ever since the US government and St. Jude confirmed the one flaw, the VA has been “taking steps to be sure all our patients and providers are aware of this issue and take appropriate actions to be sure that all our patients get the update for their monitor,” said Merritt Raitt, acting director of the VA National Cardiac Device Surveillance Program.

drug

Nation’s Largest Drug Distributor to Pay $150M in Settlement

Drug distributor McKesson Corporation will pay a $150 million fine.

Regulators have alleged that McKesson Corporation, a drug distributor, failed to report suspicious orders of painkillers that have been linked to the opioid addiction epidemic.drug

The company has agreed to pay a $150 million fine after they allegedly failed to detect and report suspicious orders of prescription pain pills, according to federal prosecutors. This has arguably led to the growing heroin crisis.

For example, more than 1.6 million orders for controlled substances were filled by McKesson in Colorado between June 2008 through May 2013. However,  just 16 of them from a single customer as suspicious, the Justice Department said.

In a statement from the White House last summer, federal fears related to pain killer and opioid addictions were made clear:

“President [Obama] has made [it] clear that addressing this epidemic is a priority for his Administration.  While Federal agencies have been using their authority to take every available action they can, Congress needs to take action on what is most urgently needed now – additional funding to make lifesaving treatment available to everyone who seeks it. The President has called for $1.1 billion in new funding to help Americans who want treatment get it wherever they live.”

Those addicted to opioid painkillers are most likely to form a heroin addiction according to the Centers for Disease and prevention.

McKesson, the nation’s largest drug distributor,  was accused of failing  to create an effective system to detect suspicious pharmacy orders. This was argued to be a violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

In 2008, McKesson agreed to a $13.25 million civil penalty for actions including failing to report suspicious sales of their drugs on “internet pharmacies.”

 

In a statement, McKesson said it settled “in the interest of moving beyond disagreements about whether McKesson was complying with the controlled substance regulations … and to instead focus on the company’s partnership with regulators and others to help stem the opioid epidemic in this country.”

Coca-cola

Consumer Group Suing Coca-Cola Due to Sugary Soda Risks

Lawsuit claims Coca-Cola misled consumers on sugary soda health risks.

The consumer-advocacy group, Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) asserts that Coca-Cola has misled consumers about the health risks of sugary drinks such as soda. Coca-Cola

In 2015, it was revealed that the corporate giant had heavily funded and been involved in the operation of the research group Global Energy Balance Network. Coca-Cola aimed to help establish the group as a “reputable scientific source to counter “public health extremists.” The company has starkly tried to avoid claims that their products are unhealthy.

It is based on these findings that the lawsuit claims that, “for years, [the] defendants have engaged in a pattern of deception to mislead and confuse the public (and governmental entities that bear responsibility for the public health) about the scientific consensus that consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is linked to obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.”

The industry group, American Beverage Association (ABA) is the co-defendant in the lawsuit. The ABA continues to argue that obesity is a “complex condition.” Further asserting that as obesity and diabetes rates continue to rise, that soda consumption is dropping.

CSPI wants the ABA and Coca-Cola to make some changes. They want marketing to disclose the health risks of sugary drinks, while stopping ads directed at children. They also want the groups to disclose file “indicating the potential health implications.” Plus, the CSPI would like for Coca-Cola and the ABA to fund a public health campaign.

The ABA said in a statement that “America’s beverage companies know we have an important role to play in addressing our nation’s health challenges. That’s why we’re engaging with health groups and community organizations to drive a reduction in the sugar and calories Americans get from beverages.”

Coca-Cola has called the suit “legally and factually meritless.”

Infuse bone graft

Infuse Bone Graft Lawsuit Gets New Life

A lawsuit accusing Medtronics of covering up negative side effects of its Infuse bone graft has been revived by an appeals court.

A lawsuit accusing Medtronic of misleading shareholders by concealing the adverse effects of its Infuse bone graft, has been revived by the The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The Infuse bone graft has been used in more than 1 million surgeries. In 2002, the FDA approved the Infuse bone graft for use in specific types of spinal fusion surgeries. The Infuse bone grafts variety are “synthetic, concentrated proteins…mixed with collagen from cows and injected into the spine to alleviate pain.”

The Spine Journal found, in 2011, that the risks of the product had been understated by medical professionals.

In 2012, the U.S. Senate Finance Committee stated that Medtronic, Inc., the manufacturer of the Infuse bone graft, had paid doctors hundreds of millions of dollars to write favorable articles and manipulate studies on the popular product.

In 2013, Medtronic shareholders sued the company claiming that the company’s stock had been inflated due to these unethical activities. As the truth about the product emerged, they have alleged hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.

In 2014, Medtronic agreed to settle its Infuse bone graft lawsuit for $22 million that involves 950 people. Around 2,300 surgeons had used Medtronic products in the US prior to any serious side effects being reported.

An earlier decision in the case judged that shareholders had waited too long before seeking legal action. As 2016 came to a close an appeals court found that the case could still be brought forward.

The case will now be returned to the lower court for further proceedings.

Powdered medical gloves

Powdered Medical Gloves Banned By the FDA

The use of most powdered medical gloves has been banned by the FDA.

For only the second time in history the FDA has banned a medical device. Powdered medical gloves seem to pose adverse risks.Powdered medical gloves

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has found that powdered medical gloves (powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder for lubricating a surgeon’s glove) “present an unreasonable and substantial risk of illness or injury.” This has led to a new rule banning these products from use, effective January 18, 2017.

One group has called the ban “18 years too late.” Nearly 20 years ago, in 1998, the advocacy group Public Citizen, filed the first of several citizen’s petition calling on FDA to ban powdered gloves.

After the ban was proposed by the FDA, Public Citizen responded saying that “when a medical product, drug or, in this case device, has unique serious risks but no unique benefit, it should be banned. The FDA’s statement that “we … only take this action when we feel it’s necessary to protect the public health” ignores overwhelming evidence going back almost two decades about the necessity to do so.”

Back in March of 2016, the FDA had prosed the powdered medical gloves citing evidence that they were a  danger to  patients, risks included airway and wound inflammation, post-surgical adhesions and allergic reactions.

Powdered gloves aim to make the removal of gloves easier for medical professionals. So, the FDA had to determine whether the ease of use outweighed the risks.

The rules not that powder is fine when used in the manufacturing process, but should not be a part of the finished product. The rule from the FDA “encourages manufacturers to ensure finished non-powdered gloves have as little powder as possible.”

 

If you believe that you or a loved one might have suffered from the medical use of powdered gloves, let the Medical Claim Legal Team help.

GM Lawsuits On The Way

GM-ignition-switch-lawsuitGeneral Motors (GM) is facing a large amount of pending lawsuits due to a recent federal court ruling. According to USA Today, The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a bankruptcy judge’s ruling this week that had protected GM from those lawsuits because of the company’s 2009 bankruptcy restructuring.

The ruling gives new life to hundreds of lawsuits from potential victims, including some who refused to accept settlements and instead took their chances in court. It also revives lawsuits from potential victims whom GM refused to offer deals and to class-action lawsuits by consumers who claim their vehicle values fell because of the scandal.

This ruling will undoubtedly bring heavy financial losses to the company as they will now have to go through thousands of cases. According to ABC News, About 1,000 death and injury lawsuits were put on hold waiting for the appeals court to rule, said Robert Hilliard, another attorney in the case. General Motors’ filings with securities regulators say there are another 101 U.S. lawsuits pending that allege that GM’s actions caused vehicle values to decline, with the expected losses for GM to range between $7-$10 billion.

After their bankruptcy in 2009, the Detroit-based automotive manufacturer has made a considerable rebound, as have other car companies since then. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the company moving forward. What makes this case so interesting is the fact that the pre-bankruptcty GM is now affecting the “New GM”.

Airbag Recall Looms Over Takata

Takata

The automotive industry has been buzzing lately surrounding the massive airbag crisis caused by Takata, the worlds largest airbag and seat belt supplier. The airbags installed in cars from 2002-2015 have been reported to deploy explosively, injuring hundreds and causing 10 casualties in the U.S.

According to a Consumer Reports article, Fiat Chrysler, Mitsubishi, Toyota, and Volkswagen confirm in a report from Florida Senator Bill Nelson that they are selling some new vehicles with airbags that contain Takata’s ammonium nitrate-based propellant in driver and passenger frontal airbag inflators without a chemical drying agent, also known as a desiccant. These vehicles will have to be recalled by 2018.

The estimated number of recalls needed by 2019 is over 75 million vehicles ranging from 14 different automotive manufacturers. These enormous number of recalls is not only harmful to consumers, it also hurts the entire automotive industry. However, with increased scrutiny being focused on the quality and safety of the airbags, they should become safer in the future so these recalls do not continue to occur.

On April 7, 2016 a 17 year old girl in Texas was killed when shrapnel from an exploding Takata airbag impaled her neck. The fatality marked the 10th life lost due to the malfunctioning airbags. To date, over 8 million airbags have been replaced, but there are still millions more that need to be addressed. The process of replacing all of the airbags that need recalls could take many years, and new cases of faulty airbags continue to be reported frequently. This crisis could open the market for new manufacturers to dethrone Takata as the top dog in the airbag field moving forward. It will be very interesting to see how Takata handles this scenario, their stock prices have plummeted since the reports came out. This story is one that will continue to be in the news as more information comes out.  Infographic-Air bags