Articles Posted in Legal News

I’m not writing many blog posts with an exclamation point in the title. But my goodness.

pesticide-239x300A jury in Oakland, California this week found Monsanto liable for yet another case of cancer and awarded a couple $2 billion plus more than $55 million total in compensatory damages! Alva and Alberta Pilliod are both in their 70s and have lived in Livermore, a town 40 miles east of San Francisco, for over 30 years.

While living there, they also used Roundup for more than 30 years to keep their home landscaped and unfortunately, both developed cancer. Alva was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2011 that started in his bones and soon spread to his pelvis and spine. Four years later, his wife Alberta was also diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma but hers was in her brain. Fortunately, they both survived and are currently in remission, but the cancer has had life-changing effects on both of their lives and they both have suffered lasting damage from it.

A recent study has reported that using antiepileptic drugs during pregnancy increases the likelihood of children developing Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in the future. It is hard to pretend that anyone is surprised by this.

What are AEDs?

pills-300x218Anticonvulsants, commonly known as antiepileptic drugs (AEDs), are a class of drugs primarily used for epileptic seizures. They help decrease seizure frequency and severity. Known to function as mood stabilizers, AEDs are also used to treat mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and borderline personality disorder. Examples of AEDs include valproates, Klonopin, and Topamax.

As you care for your little one, you should be mindful of everyday items in your home that can be a risk to their safety. Just because an item was made for babies, does not mean it is completely safe. Cribs and strollers can still be a safety risk to your baby. However, this means that you must use them in a safe manner.

  1. Strollers

Your baby’s stroller can be a significant risk to their safety. A Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) report estimates there were 13,400 reported cases of stroller-related injuries that required a visit to the emergency room. Many of these injuries were caused by a fall or strangulation. Between 2012 and 2014, an average of two children died per year from stroller-related accidents. Many stroller-related injuries or deaths occur when infants are left to sleep while the stroller’s back is in the recline position.

Window tints laws require a significant amount of light to be transmitted in car windows. Once pulled over, a police officer may check to see if your car’s window tints are legal or not. You may ask yourself how police officers can do that. In addition to knowing how to check for too much tint, you must know the window tint laws in both Maryland and D.C.

  1. How do the police determine if a window has too much tint?

The only way to determine if there is an actual violation of the statute is for the officer, after stopping the vehicle, to conduct a test utilizing a “two-piece window tint meter.” When observing a vehicle without the benefit of such a device there is no definitive way to determine if the window tint on a car is in violation of the statute other than by eyeballing it.

The gadolinium contrast class action lawsuits took a hit last week when the MDL Panel denied class certification which would have consolidated all of the federal court cases under one roof.  But I’m convinced there will be an MDL class action in the gadolinium contrast cases in the next year.  These deposition disease cases are still heating up in spite of this setback.

If you are a victim or a lawyer getting calls from clients, here are 7 things you need to know about the gadolinium contrast litigation.

  1. What are GBCAs?

A recently published California-based survey on mothers found that health care providers do not usually listen to mothers about their birth preferences. Even worse, these providers seem to listen to black women the least. This suggests that black women in America do not receive the same quality of care as their white counterparts. A University of Virginia study seems to cement this case. It concluded that racial biases among white health care professionals are directly related to the standard of care provided to black patients.

I’m writing about this because this problem flows into medical malpractice cases where the victims are disporportionately black.

Results of the California Survey

According to a study conducted by Danish scientists, there is seemingly no increased short-term risk of cancer in patients who use valsartan contaminated with the impurity, N-nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA. This study, published in the BMJ, may put into question how serious of a cancer risk NDMA-contaminated valsartan may have. The Food and Drug Administration has recently issued voluntary recalls on Valsartan because of this potential cancer risk NDMA contamination may have.

The question many lawyers and victims have is will this impact the Valsartan lawsuits?  We answer this below.

How was the study conducted?

While smoking is commonly known to be extremely harmful to one’s health, most people associate smoking with lung cancer, emphysema, or even heart disease. However, there are other long-term health effects associated with smoking that scientists are just starting to understand.

Researchers in South Korea concluded that cigarette smoking increases one’s likelihood of getting dementia, while quitting or even smoking less can decrease one’s likelihood. This was based on a study they conducted on the relationship between smoking cessation and dementia.

The Study

Big update in the pelvic mesh lawsuits and it is not a good one.  A Texas jury yesterday found for Johnson & Johnson’s (J&J) Ethicon division in a Gravel and Moneypelvic mesh claim.  Twelve Dallas jurors found that the Prosima pelvic mesh, given to women who suffer from pelvic organ prolapse, was not defective in its design, and that J&J did not fail to properly inform doctors of the risks and problems associated with this product.   It was no slam dunk.  Unlike a lot of states, Texas does not require an unanimous verdict in civil cases.  So a 10-2 vote was good enough for J&J to eke out a win.

It is just one case, but I’m not going to lie, this was one the Plaintiffs’ wanted to win.  I’ll be honest about something else.  I’m surprised J&J let this case go to trial.  They have been picking off cases to avoid a bellwether effect on settlement value that is going to wildly increase the expectations of Plaintiffs and make these cases that much harder to settle.  On this one, they gambled and won.

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A recent study of jury verdicts found that the average personal injury jury verdict in Pennsylvania is $903,705.00.Pennsylvania Sign

Now let’s turn the kaleidoscope and look at the median.  If you remember from the 9th grade, the median is found by ranking the data from biggest to smallest, and then identifying the middle of the data so that there is an equal number that are larger and smaller on each side.  If you had 1001 data points, the 500th biggest number would be in the middle.

For many groups of data, the gap between the average and the median is the same or very close to it.  With personal injury verdicts, they are usually light years apart.  This is reflected in this new study that just came out in Pennsylvania.  The median compensatory award in Pennsylvania in the study was was $45,000.00

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