Articles Posted in Legal News

A category of medications known as SGLT2 Inhibitors has recently garnered some negative attention, including some heat from the FDA. These Type 2 diabetes drugs are successful and fairly well known; however the FDA and users are starting to become wary of potential side effects.bloodstream

SGLT2 Inhibitor Side Effects

Users of SGLT2 inhibitors such as Invokana/Farxiga have started reporting that the drug produces an adverse side-effect called ketoacidosis. This condition occurs when acid builds up in the blood, leading to a myriad of issues and complications. Ketoacidosis is typically experienced by those with Type 1 diabetes because their bodies do not produce insulin. Their bodies cannot rely on glucose (sugar) to operate, so they feed on fat cells. If you ever hear people raving about a low carb or Atkins diet, this is the same reason why. The decreased carb intake, forces the body into a similar but different state called ketosis, which transfers the body’s fuel over from carbs and glucose to fat. This is why people can shed weight so quickly on those diets.

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Every aspect of litigation is based on time. Litigants only have a certain number of days to respond to motions, answer discovery, or serve a summons. Perhaps the biggest time related concern in hourglasslitigation is the statute of limitations. The statute of limitations is the due date for a lawsuit. If a claim is brought outside the statute of limitations, it is generally almost always barred and must be dismissed.  Americans are now appreciating more how harsh limitations can be; seeing Bill Cosby not being asked to account of the allegations against him.

How Statutes of Limitation Work

A statute of limitations should be thought of a more of a time frame and less of a deadline. The right to bring legal action accrues whenever the subject matter of the claim occurred. For example, in a car accident case, the right to bring a claim begins right when the accident occurred. In a medical malpractice case, the period begins when the malpractice occurs or when the victim discovers it. Once that period has officially started, the clock on the potential claim has began ticking. The relevant statute of limitations will then lay out a period during which that claim must be brought. For example, in Maryland, the statute of limitations on most personal injury actions is three years. This means that a lawsuit for a car accident must be brought within the three year period that begins when the accident occurs. If the case is not brought within that time, it can never be brought.

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This blog deals with big personal injury lawsuits across the country. These lawsuits typically involve class actions, multidistrict litigation, and mass torts against corporations for their defective witnessstandproducts, medications, or their general negligence. But we also talk about motor vehicle accident and malpractice claims, too.  For all of these cases, you are almost invariably going to need an expert to testify if you want to get your case to a jury.  Experts are obviously different than the typical fact witness. This post should give you a basic understanding of the nuances of expert witnesses and testimony.

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Much of this blog is dedicated to giving you news on significant court cases that take place throughout the country. These cases are not your typical Judge Judy, small claims type deals; they are lawsuit3pretty important. Typically, big personal injury cases usually manifest themselves in class actions, Multidistrict Litigation, and/or mass torts. Although these types of litigation have a lot in common, they are truly nuanced, meaning it takes an experienced attorney to fully comprehend how they work. But of course, it helps to have a basic understanding in the first place. Here is a little bit about how a mass tort works.

Mass Torts – The Basics

You cannot go around defining “mass tort” without defining”tort.” The law school definition of a tort is a “civil wrong,” committed by one person against another that results in injury. The most common tort that we as personal injury attorneys deal with is negligence; however torts also include assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, trespass, and many more. In most tort cases there is one plaintiff suing one defendant. For example, in a trespass case, the property owner would be suing the trespasser. The same is true of car accident cases where you have the injured victim suing the negligent driver. Of course, the insurance company is usually brought in as a defendant too.

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Once a jury hands down their verdict, the case is over, right? Sometimes, but not always. At the close of trial, both sides generally have the ability to appeal certain issues or things that may notcourt of appeals have gone their way. Most important to remember here though: parties can only appeal legal issues, not factual ones. So an appeal should not be thought of as another opportunity to try a case. Instead, appeals are there to correct mistakes or misapplications of law. Should they determine that a new trial is warranted, appeals courts have the ability to order one. But they are strictly there to determine legal issues, not factual ones.

Framework For Appeals

Every state is different, meaning every court system is different. Since this blog covers issues pertaining to the national personal injury community, I will use the federal appeals process to lay out how things work. Granted, the federal appeals courts share some similarities with many states (especially Maryland), so this should give you an idea of how things work from state to state.

The federal court system is three-tiered. There are the trial courts, which are referred to as Federal District Courts. There are the intermediate appeals courts, which are called Federal Circuit Courts. And the “court of last resort” in the federal system is the Supreme Court of The United States (SCOTUS). The state of Maryland has a similar system with trial courts, an intermediate appeals court, and a state court of last resort.

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If you are a plaintiff to a lawsuit, you are asking the court to do something for you. In most personal injury cases, you are asking the court to award damages in your favor, typically by way of the motionsjury. Throughout the course of the lawsuit, there are going to be other “lesser” things that you are going to ask the court to do. For example, perhaps you want the court to exclude certain evidence, protect certain information in discovery, or even dispose of the case without ever having to set foot in a courtroom. Considering that courts are formalized tribunals, you cannot just make a call or send them a letter. This is where a motion comes into play.

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Often time you will hear people discuss “forum shopping” when it comes to filing lawsuits. This is the apprehension that it is better to file a lawsuit in some places com

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pared to others. There is definitely some truth to this, especially in places like Maryland where one or two places tend to be the preferred stop for personal injury lawsuits. However, to understand the concept of “forum shopping,” you have to understand the concept of a “forum” in the first place, which entails knowing the difference between personal jurisdiction and venue.

Jurisdiction

Personal Jurisdiction is an incredibly important piece of the puzzle when putting together a lawsuit. Really all it boils down to is a court’s ability to exercise its power over an entity, whether that is a person, business, trust, etc. For example, say you are a Maryland resident, it would feel unfair if an Oklahoma court was able to render a judgment over you if you have no connections to that state. That is where the doctrine of jurisdiction comes into play: it is all about the court’s ability to bring you under its power.

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Exactly one month ago, I wrote about how the manufacturers of drugs like Levaquin, Cipro, and Avelox are trying to prevent the various lawsuits against them from being consolidated. These antibioticslawsuits, which allege that certain antibiotics led to nerve damage, are now poised to become Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) if plaintiffs receive formal approval.

2018 Update:

There has been a shift from the tendon injury claims to those involving peripheral neuropathy.  These cases are just getting off the ground.  There is an MDL as of December 2017with 93 Bayer cases are still pending. 205 are Bayer only, while 88 are combination cases.

Antibiotic Litigation: July 2015 Update

A few of my blog posts have mentioned the litigation involving antibiotics referred to as Fluoroquinolones. These antibiotics have been linked to serious nerve damage, which can continue long after use. The sheer volume of lawsuits involving these antibiotics is expanding by the week. Currently, there are 59 different cases involving Fluoroquinolone side-effects making their way through the federal court system. What makes that number impressive is that there were only about half as many around two months ago.

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The American civil justice system allows for one type of recovery in personal injury cases: damages. Damages, or compensation, can manifest themselves in a few different forms in personal injurylawmoney cases. People tend to throw around terms such as “general damages,” “special damages,” “non-economic,” and “economic” damages, so this post should help you differentiate between these various types of damage awards.

Special Damages

What is so special about special damages? Well, not much other than the fact that they can be readily quantified.  Whenever a car accident or other type of personal injury accident occurs, the injured person is going to incur expenses associated with the accident.  These are hard numbers that can be measured.

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Discovery is the most important part of civil litigation (apart from the trial.) Discovery also tends to be the most expensive part of civil litigation. This is often a long and exhaustive process that entails most of the legwork in litigation. At the end of the day, though, discovery is really only about one thing: getting information from the other side to use at trial.

Discovery: An Overview

When one party sues another, they have to (or at least should) have information that supports their claim. Granted, they do not need to prove their case in the complaint. But going in they should already have enough information to know that their claim has a basis in both law and fact. Once the complaint is filed, they can fine tune the information that they have and supplement it using discovery. Discovery should be thought of less as one amorphous thing and more so as the combined efforts of various discovery devices. More on that later.

One of the reasons discovery can get expensive is because its scope unbelievably wide (although it is getting more narrow of late).  Parties can utilize the discovery process to find any piece of information that is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. And just because the information sought is not admissible in and of itself, it is still discoverable on the chance that it might to lead to something that is. Information obtained during discovery will also be public record if it makes its way into the court file, so there is also a potential that a person or corporation may have to put personal or sensitive information out there. There are, of course, ways to shield this from happening, but a party will have to show a judge that the information should be protected before the any information will be shielded. The discovery process also does not go on forever. A judge will set out a schedule, during which discovery can be obtained. If information is discovered after the final date, then it cannot be utilized at trial.

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