HO&P BLOG

Blue Bell recalls all products after more Listeria bacterial contamination cases found in Texas, other states

Blue Bell Creameries has issued a complete recall of its entire product line of ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and other frozen treats in response to multiple reports of bacterial contamination at the company’s plants. Blue Bell products contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes have been linked to at least four deaths and 10 cases of illness across Texas and other states over the past year. Read the full article…

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Florida medical malpractice wrongful death damage caps overturned in state Supreme Court ruling

The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that damage caps in medical malpractice wrongful death lawsuits are unconstitutional under state law. In a 5-2 ruling in Estate of McCall v. Unites States of America, the state’s Supreme Court said that a Florida law limiting “non-economic” damages for malpractice violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Florida Constitution. Read the full article…

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Judge in Gawker interns class action rejects plan for settlement notifications for opt-in plaintiffs via social media

A group of interns who filed a class action lawsuit against Gawker for violations of FLSA overtime laws have lost their bid to notify potential opt-in plaintiffs of a settlement in the case via social media. U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan ruled that a proposal submitted by the Gawker interns to disseminate information about the settlement via Facebook, Twitter, and other online platforms would only serve to call attention to federal labor law violations by the gossip website, not to notify eligible plaintiffs of their right to opt-in to the settlement. Read the full article…

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Children may be at risk of deadly overdoses from fentanyl side effects, health officials warn

Health officials in Australia are warning patients about the risks of a potentially fatal overdose that can be caused by accidental exposure of the fentanyl pain patch to children under five years old. Experts with Australia’s NPS MedicineWise say that it is important that parents are educated on proper use and disposal of the fentanyl patch in order to avoid accidentally exposing young children to this powerful opioid painkiller. Read the full article…

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Minnesota appeals court issues landmark insurable interest ruling for life settlement investments

In a landmark ruling for companies involved in the life settlement industry, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit has ruled that the insurable interest requirement for life settlement investments under Minnesota law is satisfied as soon as an individual takes out an insurance policy on their own life, regardless of any later intent to sell the policy in the form of life settlements. The court also ruled in PHL Variable Insurance Company v. Bank of Utah, No. 14-1210  that insurance companies may not challenge the validity of life insurance policies that are sold through life settlement transactions outside of the two year contestability period established under Minnesota state law. Read the full article…

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‘Blurred Lines’ verdict could reshape intellectual property rules for music industry, legal experts say

In a landmark intellectual property ruling, jurors in Los Angeles recently ruled that musicians Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke violated the copyright of Marvin Gaye’s 1977 song “Got To Give It Up” when they co-wrote Thicke’s 2013 hit “Blurred Lines.” The jury awarded Gaye’s children more than $7.3 million in damages, stating that “Blurred Lines” had crossed the boundary between pastiche and plagiarism in borrowing the “vibe” of “Got To Give It Up.” Read the full article…

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Zofran lawsuits allege use of anti-nausea drug during pregnancy caused heart defects, congenital birth defects

Women in Pennsylvania and Massachusetts have filed lawsuits alleging that their children were born with heart defects and other congenital birth defects caused by taking the drug Zofran during pregnancy. The lawsuits accuse GlaxoSmithKline, the manufacturer of Zofran, of promoting the drug to treat morning sickness and nausea during pregnancy despite the fact that it was never approved for pregnant women by the FDA. Read the full article…

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Takeda offers $2.2 billion settlement in Actos bladder cancer lawsuits, Bloomberg reports

Takeda Pharmaceutical has reportedly offered $2.2 billion to settle thousands of lawsuits filed against the drug company involving diabetes drug Actos and bladder cancer diagnosis in patients who used this medication. The settlement proposal, first reported by Bloomberg News, would be the first in the three-year Actos litigation history, which has involved more than 8,000 bladder cancer lawsuits in federal and state courts, and would be one of the largest pharmaceutical liability settlements ever reached in the U.S. Read the full article…

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Researchers hid clinical trial evidence of Xarelto side effects, FDA investigation reveals

Allegations of misconduct in clinical trials for the bloodthinner Xarelto have led some critics to wonder whether the drug should have ever been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”). Among other allegations, the FDA reportedly found that Bayer researchers failed to report cases of serious adverse events among patients involved in clinical trials for Xarelto. Although the drug was later approved by the FDA, several patients who experienced major bleeding events after taking Xarelto have filed lawsuits against Bayer and its subsidiaries. Read the full article…

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Avelox and Levaquin Lawsuits Filed Over Nerve Damage From Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics

Lawsuits against the manufacturers of the fluoroquinolone antibiotics Avelox and Levaquin have been filed in California on behalf of patients who were diagnosed with a type of nerve damage known as peripheral neuropathy after taking these drugs. Patients who were prescribed these or other fluoroquinolones and have been diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy—or who have developed symptoms of chronic nerve damage—may also be eligible to file a lawsuit. Read the full article…

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