HO&P BLOG

New Mexico court affirms $7.3 million medical malpractice verdict for MRSA infection following knee surgery

Lori Sandretto slipped on a wet floor and injured her right knee, which eventually required outpatient surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Sandretto’s pain continued, which prompted her to see Dr. Charles Calkins, an orthopedic surgeon. Calkins was employed by Payson Healthcare Management (PHM). Calkins found that the meniscus was still torn and performed a second surgery in September of 2008. Calkins removed fluid from the knee during surgery for testing, which was subsequently negative for infection. Read the full article…

Toyota to pay $1.2 billion penalty for misleading consumers about sudden acceleration safety issues

The U.S Department of Justice recently announced that it had filed criminal fraud charge against Toyota Motor Corporation asserting that Toyota defrauded consumers in the fall of 2009 and early 2010 by issuing misleading statements about safety issues in Toyota and Lexus vehicles. At the same time, the Department of Justice also announced a “deferred prosecution agreement” with Toyota under which the company admits that it misled U.S. consumers by concealing and making deceptive statements about two safety issues affecting its vehicles, each of which caused a type of unintended acceleration. Read the full article…

Eighth Circuit issues split decision in trademark case: district court was wrong to cancel marks but right to find no actual confusion

The Lanham Act grants the “owner of a trademark used in commerce” the right to apply for registration of its trademark on the Principal Register. 15 U.S.C. § 1051. The Lanham Act prohibits, however, the registration of marks on the Principal Register that are merely descriptive, unless the mark has become distinctive of the registrant’s goods in commerce. 15 U.S.C. §§ 1052(e)- (f). In determining whether a mark has acquired distinctiveness, i.e., secondary meaning, “the chief inquiry is whether in the consumer’s mind the mark has become associated with a particular source.” Co–Rect Prods., Inc. v. Marvy! Advertising Photography, Inc., 780 F.2d 1324, 1332–33 (8th Cir.1985). Read the full article…

Collection letters about time-barred debt can violate Fair Debt Collection Practices Act even though litigation is not threatened, Seventh Circuit rules

On February 7, 2012, Capital Management Services sent a debt-collection letter to Juanita Delgado, a resident of Illinois. The letter stated, in part:

Dear Juanita Delgado,

This company has been engaged by RESURGENT CAPITAL SERVICES, LP, the servicer of the account, to resolve your delinquent debt of $2404.13. Please submit your payment and make your check or money order payable to Capital Management Services, LP, to the above address. Read the full article…

Roche ordered to pay $1.5 million in lawsuit by Accutane user with inflammatory bowel disease

Accutane, the brand name for isotretinoin, is a prescription drug that was developed and marketed by Roche. The drug is used to treat recalcitrant nodular acne that has not responded to other regimens. The many known side effects of Accutane including dry lips, skin and eyes; conjunctivitis; decreased night vision; muscle and joint aches; elevated triglycerides; and a high risk of birth defects if a woman ingests the drug while pregnant. A lawsuit filed by Kamie Kendall concerns the effect of Accutane on the digestive tract and, in particular, the alleged propensity of the drug to cause inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Read the full article…

Cancer misdiagnosis results in $1.9 million malpractice verdict for estate of Massachusetts man

A jury in Worcester, Massachusetts has returned a $1.9 million verdict in a medical malpractice case involving a man who died from complications of cancer treatments that he didn’t need. Martin F. Harrity Jr. of Spencer, Massachusetts was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2003 at the age of 39. Mr. Harrity’s treating oncologist was Dr. James Rooney, chief of hematology/oncology for Reliant Medical Group. Read the full article…