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October 25, 2011

Charles Silver: No Better Care, Thanks to Tort Reform

Study Links BPA Exposure in Womb to Behavior Problems

Harley Recalls More Than 250,000 Motorcycles

FDA Says Chantix Did Not Increase Psychiatric Problems in Studies

Biotech Company Settles Whistle-Blower Lawsuits for $780 Million

Suit: Police Assaulted Man After Seizure

UPS Settles Class-Action Shipping Fees Lawsuit

Colonoscopy Lawsuit Results in $2 Million Jury Verdict

Hundreds of Trips: Who's Paying?

 

 

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Announcements

 

TTLA Annual Meeting & Advanced PI CLE December 1-2, Hotel ZaZa Houston

Formerly the TTLA Annual Conference, our December event is now the Annual Meeting & Advanced PI CLE! We've streamlined this event and we're now offering a one-day Advanced PI CLE, along with the Annual Membership & Board Meeting, President's Luncheon, and a spectacular Holiday Party at the home of Steve and Amber Mostyn. Topics include: Trucking, Immigration, Insurance Bad Faith, Discovery, Cross Examination And More!  

 

Op-Ed

 

Charles Silver: No Better Care, Thanks to Tort Reform

The 2003 TX statute capping damages in medical malpractice cases had two demonstrable effects. First, it made doctors, hospitals and malpractice insurers millions of dollars richer by devaluing the claims of injured patients. Various sources report that premiums for liability coverage fell by half, and a study by a research group to which I belong finds that, after 2003, the number of dollars flowing to patients declined by more than 70 percent. This is a straightforward redistribution of wealth from malpractice victims to the proponents of tort reform. Second, the statute put many contingent fee lawyers out of business. If you’ve tried to find a lawyer to handle a med mal claim, you’ll have discovered this truth first-hand.  Charles Silver, University of Texas Law School, Texas Tribune  10/25/2011

Read Article: Texas Tribune    

 

Study

 

Study Links BPA Exposure in Womb to Behavior Problems

A chemical used widely in plastic bottles, metal cans and other consumer products could be linked to behavioral and emotional problems in toddler girls, according to a government-funded study published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics. After tracking 244 Cincinnati-area mothers and their 3-year-olds, the study concluded that mothers with high levels of bisphenol A (BPA) in their urine were more likely to report that their children were hyperactive, aggressive, anxious, depressed and less in control of their emotions than mothers with low levels of the chemical.  Associated Press, The Washington Post  10/25/2011

Read Article: The Washington Post    

 

Products

 

Harley Recalls More Than 250,000 Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson Inc. has issued a recall of 250,757 touring motorcycles due to issues with the brakes. Harley officials said the rear brake-light switch could be damaged by heat from the bikes’ exhaust systems. There has been one reported accident attributed to the brake defects.  Jonathan Welsh, WSJ Blogs  10/23/2011

Read Article: WSJ Blogs    

 

FDA Says Chantix Did Not Increase Psychiatric Problems in Studies

The FDA said that Pfizer’s anti-smoking drug Chantix did not increase psychiatric problems like depression and suicidal thoughts in two studies, though the findings are not definitive. The FDA has been investigating reports of mood disorders and erratic behavior among Chantix patients since 2007. The agency said in a statement that two federally-funded studies involving more than 26,000 patients did not show an increased rate of psychiatric hospitalizations among Chantix patients, compared with those using nicotine patches and smoking cessation treatments.  Associated Press, The Washington Post  10/25/2011

Read Article: The Washington Post    

 

Laws/Cases

 

Biotech Company Settles Whistle-Blower Lawsuits for $780 Million

Biotechnology company Amgen has agreed to settle various whistle-blower lawsuits that had accused the company of illegal sales and marketing tactics. The company said the lawsuits centered around "marketing, pricing and dosing of its anemia drugs, Aranesp and Epogen, and its dissemination of information about clinical trials on the safety and efficacy of those drugs." The suit also claimed the company gave doctors extra amounts of the drugs to give to patients and then charge to Medicare.  Andrew Pollack, The New York Times  10/24/2011

Read Article: The New York Times    

 

Suit: Police Assaulted Man After Seizure

An Aurora, Colo., man has filed a lawsuit against the city and three police officers who allegedly assaulted him while he was having a seizure. According to the suit, police bent the man's wrist back, breaking it, as he lay on the ground after his seizure and "exacerbated his previous back injuries." Police declined to comment on the suit, but in the 911 call, the man's partner said she was concerned because the plaintiff gets "combative" after having a seizure.  Carlos Illescas, Denver Post  10/25/2011

Read Article: Denver Post    

 

UPS Settles Class-Action Shipping Fees Lawsuit

UPS has agreed to pay $12 million to settle a class-action lawsuit accusing the postal service of over-charging for shipment of packages. An Alabama auto parts company claimed to have paid $4,600 more in charges starting in 2006. The settlement allows anyone who shipped a package between 2006 and 2011 and paid additional charges to file a claim.  Keith Clines, Huntsville Times  10/25/2011

Read Article: Huntsville Times    

 

Colonoscopy Lawsuit Results in $2 Million Jury Verdict

A colonoscopy that resulted in a 62-year-old man having more than two feet of his colon removed because of test-related perforations resulted in a $2 million verdict against two doctors who cared for the plaintiff in 2008. A 12-member Philadelphia jury deliberated for eight hours over two days before finding this month that Michael Resnick, who performed the colonoscopy on Richard McCade, was 60 percent negligent for Mr. McCade's perforated colon and resulting surgeries. The jury found Lawrence M. Wald was 40 percent negligent for allegedly further perforating Mr. McCade's colon during follow-up procedures to fix subsequent complications from the initial tear.  Gina Passarella, The Legal Intelligencer, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  10/25/2011

Read Article: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette    

 

Issues

 

Hundreds of Trips: Who's Paying?

Law schools, advocacy groups and an array of other interests picked up the tab for 680 trips by federal appellate judges during 2010, and gave them gifts including theater tickets and club memberships, financial disclosure reports show.The financial disclosure reports, which are not readily available to the public, were obtained by The National Law Journal through a request made under the Ethics in Government Act to the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Judges are required to disclose most travel reimbursements from private sources that aren't family members, as well as information about gifts, outside income and investments. A review of the reports provides a rare window into judicial activity that most people, and even lawyers, do not see. Some judges spent weeks away from their chambers, and some judges who are relative celebrities are among the best traveled. Certain law schools had much more access to judges than others. Some judges speak almost exclusively to organizations that fit their own legal philosophy.  David Ingram , The National Law Journal  10/25/2011

Read Article: The National Law Journal    


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