Oklahoma Tackles the Opioid Epidemic

Alarming epidemic

Since 1999, over 700,000 people in the United States have died from drug overdoses.  In response to this seemingly uncontrollable epidemic, the state of Oklahoma is stepping up as one of the first states to hold pharmaceutical companies accountable. Earlier this week, a judge ruled that Johnson & Johnson must pay $572 million for their role in the overdose death count.  In 2017 alone, 68% of the 70,000 US overdoses were at the hands of an opioid.  This landmark case cites Oklahoma’s public nuisance law and the argument that Johnson & Johnson put people in harm by engaging in “false and misleading marketing of both their drugs and opioids.” The state of Oklahoma blames Johnson & Johnson for the influx of opioids in the state. Read more

Explosive Settlement for Merrimack Valley, MA

Residents left to pick up the pieces

At the end of July 2019, a $143 million settlement was announced, connected to a September 2018 Massachusetts natural gas explosion that left one resident dead and 25 other residents injured.  Other individuals were also affected, as 100 buildings and homes in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover were damaged.  Due to the shared misfortune following the explosion, a class action lawsuit was filed against Columbia Gas of Massachusetts and NiSource Inc.  A judge is now left to evaluate the terms of the settlement for approval.  In the opinion of some, $143 million is only a small price to pay for the inconvenience and suffering of those who were forced to live without services of natural gas and must also rebuild their lives and homes. Read more

Concussions, CTE, & Closure

For the love of the game

The family of Junior Seau has reached settlement with the National Football League over his 2012 suicide. The Hall of Fame linebacker, who played more than half of his 20 year football career with the San Diego Chargers, took his own life at the age of 43. He was later diagnosed with CTE, a chronic form of brain damage, likely brought on by his violent on-field tackling in the NFL. Reports claim that Seau’s family will receive up to $4m in the wrongful death settlement, which was filed in a Philadelphia PA federal court. The NFL has come under fire over the last few years as more and more retired and former players are showing signs of brain damage, concussions, and dementia. Read more

Monsanto’s Weed-Killer Does Not Just Kill Weeds

You are what you eat

Missouri-based agrochemical company, Monsanto, has for years marketed their Roundup weed-killer as both safe and non-toxic. Farmers have relied on the product to kill the harmful weeds that damage crops. Due to the genetically modified nature of the crops that farmers plant, the crops are immune to the potentially damaging ingredients of Roundup. While the crops have remained unaffected, the farmers or residents who live in farm communities have experienced deadly side effects. Read more

IVC Filters Cannot Prevent Pending Lawsuits

Medical instruments

For every new medication or pharmaceutical device, there is a list of side effects. In the case of implantable vena cava (IVC) filters, C.R. Bard and Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc. downplayed the risks involved in keeping the filters in bodies extending past a few months. The purpose of the IVC filters is to stop blood clots that may result in death. Despite the caution involved, filters were implanted for long-term use in the 1970s. In the early 2000’s, the FDA approved the short-term use of IVC filters. It was possible for patients to receive the filter implants, even if taking medication was an alternative remedy. Read more